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Cygwin Acronyms

One encounters all sorts of acronyms on the Cygwin mailing lists. Some are well-known (such as IMHO and FAQ), others less so (such as HTH). Some were invented on this list, and are so fresh, they haven't even been cached by Google yet. This document should present most acronyms you're likely to find on the Cygwin mailing lists, with an explanation and a brief history for some. Note that this is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of all possible acronyms. If you can't find the acronym you're looking for here, try another acronym resource, like The Canonical Acronym List or


ACRONYM Abbreviated Coded Rendition Of Name Yielding Meaning
AFAIC As Far As I'm Concerned
AFAIK As Far As I Know
AFAIR As Far As I Recall
APPS Application Packaging Problems & Solutions. As opposed to bug reports. Inspired by Gerrit P. Haase as a mnemonic for the purpose of the cygwin-apps mailing list
ATM At The Moment
AYS Are You Sure? Can also mean "Are You Serious?". First used on the list by Dave Korn
BLODA Big List Of Dodgy Apps. A list of applications that interfere with the normal working of Cygwin by intrusively injecting themselves in the system call chain. First used on the list by Dave Korn.
BOFH Bastard Operator From Hell. A nasty character from a set of diaries which brought us a whole load of fun and a bunch of widely used terminology (e.g., "luser"). The original epitome of meanness. Currently at BOFHweb. First used on the list by Alejandro Lopez-Valencia. See also BWAM
BSOD Blue Screen Of Death. Not Cygwin's fault!
BTDT Been There, Done That. First used on the list by Andrew DeFaria
BTW By The Way
BWAM Because We Are Mean™. A variation of WJM used in answering the "Why isn't something working the way I think it should be?" type of question. Follows the MSFTEU Cygwin philosophy. First used on the list by Sam Edge
CAMP Cygwin Apache MySQL PHP [Framework]. The one that's been "coming soon to a mirror near you"™ for almost two years now. Coined by Stipe Tolj.
Correction: make that five years!
CGF Computer-Generated Forms... J/K! This one's not really an acronym, but rather the initials of one of the Cygwin project manager emeritus, Christopher Faylor.
CLI Clearly Less Intimidating. Also "Command Line Interface"
CTDW Cygwin Technical Documentation Writer. *Ubersexy*
CYA Cover Your Ass. First used on the list by Thomas L. Roche
CYGWIN Multiple variants have been suggested, take your pick:
CYNUX CYgwin's Not UniX. Pronounced "cynics". First suggested by Cliff Hones; resurfaced in its present form in a post by Linda Walsh. Pronounciation suggested by, well, me, and don't you dare dispute it!
DTRT Do The Right Thing. Always a worthy goal... First used on the list by Jani Tiainen
EMBI Excuse My Butting In. Anyone with sense enough to say this is usually excused... First used on the list by Bas van Gompel. See also IMHO
FAQ Frequently Asked Questions. When written as "The FAQ", refers to the Cygwin FAQ
FTR For The Record. Should be found in the Cygwin mailing list archives. Introduced by Corinna Vinschen
FUCS Fast User Context Switching. A feature of Windows XP that fouled up the older versions of the cygipc unofficial package. Introduced by Frank Seesink
FWICS From What I Can See... First used on the list by Earnie Boyd
FWIW For What It's Worth
FYI For Your Information. Also "Fix Yourself It" (for all the Star Wars fans out there)
GPL Go Play Lawyer. Also General Public License. Subject of a lot of misinterpretations and discussions on the list recently. Could become the next swear word.
GTG Good To Go. Used mostly on the cygwin-apps mailing list to indicate that a package is ready to be included in the Cygwin distribution. Coined by Daniel Reed
HTH Hope This Helps
IAFNAB It's A Feature, Not A Bug. Coined by Shankar Unni
IANACE I Am Not A Cygwin Expert. Usually an admission on the part of a person who is well on the way to becoming one. Coined by David Rothenberger
IANAL I Am Not A Lawyer. Appears often in GPL discussions. You may safely ignore anyone making this statement (YANALATEYHSMBSI)
ICE Internal Compiler Error. When things go BANG! in gcc...
IDTYRMTST I Don't Think You Really Meant To Say That. First used on the list by Dave Korn. A milder form of YOWTWYWT
IIRC If I Recall Correctly
IIUC If I Understand Correctly
IMAO In My Arrogant Opinion. A stronger form of IMNSHO, rarely used. First used on the list by Alejandro Lopez-Valencia. See also BOFH
IMHO In My Humble Opinion
IMNSHO In My Not So Humble Opinion. Usually reserved for people who actually know what they are doing
IMO In My Opinion
IOW In Other Words
ITA Inten[d|t] To Adopt. Used on the cygwin-apps mailing list to indicate the intent to adopt an orphaned package already in the Cygwin distribution. Usually followed by the package name. Adopting a package gets an automatic gold star. See also ITP
ITIYM I Take It You Mean... First used on the list by Michel Bardiaux
ITP Inten[d|t] To Package. Used on the cygwin-apps mailing list to indicate the intent to provide a new package. Usually followed by the package name. See also ITA
IWFM It Works For Me. Also WFM (or WJFFM for extra emphasis). Corinna, you want credit for this one?
J/K Just Kidding. Also implied by the ;-) () or :-) () emoticons.
Frankly, I thought it was universal, but then Gareth complained that it wasn't in the OLOCA, so here it is. Enjoy!
JAT Just A Thought. First used on the list by Ronald Landheer-Cieslak. See also JTYMLTK
JTYMLTK Just Thought You Might Like To Know. First used on the list by Ronald Landheer-Cieslak. See also JAT
LART Luser Attitude Readjustment Tool. Usually consists of a large billet of wood usable as a club, in the hands of a rather angry system administrator. When missing either component, an RTFM or STFW message would work almost as well. First used on the list (in a very appropriately numbered message) by Rafael Kitover
LOL Laughing Out Loud. A rare treat, mostly in OT messages.
MSFTEU Maximum Surprise For The End User. The Cygwin philosophy. Coined by Christopher Faylor. Very appropriate, as Cygwin runs on Microsoft Windows™. See also BWAM and WJM
NNTR No Need To Reply
NP No Problem. Really...
OLOCA Official List of Cygwin Acronyms. This document. Coined by Igor Pechtchanski. Guess we're stuck with it now... See below for the acronym inclusion policy
OOTB Out Of The Box. Indicates that some program doesn't need to be ported to Cygwin. Those make the best packages for newbie maintainers...
OSCA Only Specifically Cygwin-list Acronyms. The policy for constructing the OLOCA.
OT Off-Topic. Anything not belonging on the list according to the Cygwin mailing lists description, like non-Cygwin software, jokes or discussing acronyms. Hey, wait a minute!.. See also TITTTL
OTOH On The Other Hand
PCYMTNQREAIYR Please Configure Your Mailer To Not Quote Raw E-mail Addresses In Your Replies. Some mailers include the raw e-mail address in the "Joe <> wrote:" line. The web archives for the mailing lists are publicly available. Let's not feed the spam harvesters! (Some people express doubt that munging addresses actually works, but a spam report from shows that spam harvesters often don't bother decoding even the simplest anti-spam measures such as replacing "@" with "AT" and "." with "DOT").
Of course, there may be other raw e-mail addresses in messages, e.g., in signatures, but that's the choice of the person sending the message.
Coined by Igor Pechtchanski.
PCYMTWLL Please Configure Your Mailer To Wrap Long Lines. Some mailers don't, and then most of the message ends up looking like one lo-ong line in the web archives. Very annoying to have to scroll left and right as well as up and down. Please be considerate!
Also, some MTAs simply truncate long lines at 998 characters (the maximum allowed by RFC2821 and RFC2822) instead of wrapping them, so information in your message may actually be lost if your mailer doesn't wrap lines or encode line continuations properly.
Note that this does not apply to cases where the lines do need to be long, e.g., program output included verbatim, or patches. In those cases it's ok to have long lines.
Coined by Igor Pechtchanski.
PEBCAK Problem Exists Between Chair And Keyboard. A.k.a "Cockpit Error". Often true. . See also PEBKAC
PEBKAC Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair. See PEBCAK
PGA Patches Gratefully Accepted. See also PTC. See also SHTDI.
PMI Pardon My Ignorance. First used on the list by David Rayner (ZZapper). See also WTF
POL Plain Outta Luck. Like when trying to run a Linux or Solaris binary on Cygwin. First used on the list by Michel Bardiaux. See also YOWTWYWT
PPIOSPE Please Post Instead Of Sending Private Email. Posting on the mailing lists not only gives access to more expertise than any one person can provide, but also ensures that the questions and answers are archived on the web for future enlightenment seekers. Besides, the Cygwin community netiquette sez so. Pronounced "Pee-Pee-Yows-Pee". Suggested by Carlo Florendo
PTC Patches Thoughtfully Considered. See also PGA. See also SHTDI
RFU Request For Upload. Used on the cygwin-apps mailing list by package maintainers to indicate that a new version of a package is available for upload into the Cygwin distribution. Usually followed by the package name
RSN Real Soon Now... See TPIBA
RTFM Read The Manual. Used to gently guide a newbie user to the manual page for the tool he's trying to use. The "F" is historical, and was initially added for emphasis. Nowadays it's just plain necessary. See also LART and STFW
SCNR Sorry, Could Not Resist
SHTDI Somebody Has To Do It™. Are you volunteering? Introduced by Christopher Faylor. See also PTC
STC Simple Test Case. First used on the list by Ronald Landheer-Cieslak.
STFW Search The Web. A younger cousin of RTFM. The usual answer to "What's blah?". Most often refers to the Google search engine. The "F" means the same as in RTFM. See also LART
TANSTAAFL There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. An old principle, popularized by Robert Anson Heinlein in "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress"
TITTL Throw It To The Lions (or hippos, as the case may be). A common misspelling of TITTTL.
TITTTL Take It To The Talk List. This refers to the cygwin-talk mailing list, where no message is off-topic. Pronounced "Tittle" (try not to snicker). First used on the list by Dave Korn. See also OT and TITTL
TLA Three Letter Acronym. Not necessarily three letters long
TMI Too Much Information. As in "TMI mode". First used on the list by Christopher Faylor
TMTOWTDI There's More Than One Way To Do It. Technically a Perl motto, but applies equally well to Cygwin. First used on the list by Soren Andersen
TOFU Text Over, Full-quote Under (or, in the original German, "Text Oben, Fullquote Unten"). A combination of top posting and full quoting, which makes the messages hard to read (according to RFC 1855). Often combined with raw e-mail addresses in quoted messages (see PCYMTNQREAIYR). Added after repeated requests from Corinna Vinschen
TPIBA The Problem is Being Addressed. Kind of like "The check is in the mail", but more honest, or at least verifiable. Introduced by Christopher Faylor
TTBOMK To The Best Of My Knowledge. First used on the list by Soren Andersen
TTTT To Tell The Truth. I got dibs on that one (the acronym, that is)!
UG User's Guide. Most often refers to the Cygwin User's Guide
WADR With All Due Respect. First used on the list by Yitzchak Scott-Thoennes
WAG Wild-Assed Guess. Usually correct for certain people
WCTS Without Consulting The Source. First used on the list by Daniel Reed. See also WAG
WFM Works For Me. Also IWFM (or WJFFM, for extra emphasis)
WJFFM Works Just Fine For Me. As in "Nope, can't reproduce this here". Yet another way of saying "We're Just Frighteningly Freaking Mean" (or insert your favorite F-words here). First used on the list by Christopher Faylor. Also IWFM and WFM
WJM We're Just Mean. Get used to it! See also BWAM
WIBGI Wouldn't It Be Great If... First used on the list by Ronald Landheer-Cieslak
WTF Who or What, depending on the context. Usually implies a question mark. The "TF" is really padding, to make this a three-letter acronym, meaning something like "pray tell".
Also the name of a very useful Cygwin package
YA Yet Another or Yet Again, depending on its position in the sentence
YAMWHTLT Yet Another Maintainer Who Has Too Little Time. That's not Matthias Andree.
YANALATEYHSMBSI You Are Not A Lawyer, And Therefore Everything You Have Said May Be Safely Ignored. Born out of a heated GPL discussion. Acronym proposed by Chuck Wilson. A new standard response to IANAL. Don't try to pronounce it. Just... don't
YMMV Your Mileage May Vary. Basically means "Works for me" or "Try at your own risk"
YOWTWYWT You Obviously Weren't Thinking When You Wrote That. Pronounced "Yow-twit". Applies a lot on this list. Coined by Max Bowsher. Pronounciation suggested by Randall R. Schulz and hasn't been disputed yet. See also IDTYRMTST
YSHFRTT You Should Have Finished Reading The Thread. Please do read the whole thread before replying. The lists produce enough bandwidth even without the same point being reiterated in the same thread. Coined by Christopher Faylor
3PP 3rd Party Perverts. People making others' lives difficult by using Cygwin in weird ways and having their products depend on that. Acronym coined by Christopher Faylor, after a phrase in Brian Dessent's message

This document is work in progress. We will add more acronyms as I encounter them on the list (see OSCA). If you see an acronym not listed here on one of the Cygwin lists, please send comments and suggestions to the main Cygwin list.