What does DM Mean in Internet Shorthand? You Might Be Surprised

Do you know what the term “DM” means? You probably do, although there are a lot of meanings for it in real life, including the following.

We can’t get enough of internet abbreviations and shorthand, and in this article, you’ll learn more about “DM.” Here’s a quick look at the term, what it means, and how it’s used.

What is DM?

The term DM means “direct message.” The term first enjoyed popularity on social networking platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. It typically refers to private communication between two or more people online. However, you’ll also see the term on newer platforms, including Discord and Twitch. “Whispers” is another way to describe the term on the latter.

Before social media, IRC and Internet forums were places online to find the term. Regardless, the term is typically used to describe the opposite of a public post, regardless of the platform.

The Other DM

Growing up, DM had another meaning for many: dungeon master. The game organizer and participant in charge of creating the details and challenges of Dungeons & Dragons adventures, the DM controls all aspects of the game. Tactical Studies Rules introduced the term in the 1970s.

DM direct message

Other Meanings

The two-letter abbreviation, DM, has a lot of other means besides direct message and dungeon master. Over the years, it has stood for:

  • D minor, a minor scale or chord on the musical note D,
  • Dance marathon, a multiple-day charity event on many U.S. college campuses, including Penn State’s THON, one of the largest annual philanthropic events in the U.S.
  • Death metal, a musical style that evolved from thrash metal
  • Developed markets describe the most advanced countries in the world
  • Direct mail, or advertising mail, delivery of advertising material to recipients of postal mail
  • Deutsche Mark (1948–2002), the former official currency of Germany
  • Depeche Mode, a 1980s English synthpop band
  • Drum major, the leader of a marching band
  • DM (album), the third studio album by Mexican singer-songwriter Dulce María (2017)

We’ve covered many different internet- or technology-based abbreviations at groovyPost, including COPPA, IRL, and more. So please keep checking back with us to learn more about what these memes and other types of internet slang you pick up on mean.

1 Comment

1 Comment


    August 17, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    Not forgetting Doc Marten boots. Those were also called DMs

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