What Does IKR Mean?

Learning updated on  September 5, 2023 4 min read

IKR stands for “I know, right?” and shows strong agreement.

As one of the most casual initialisms we often use in texting and chat, IKR is a short, quick way to show someone you agree with what they’ve said. It stands for the phrase “I know, right?” in which “I know” means you agree and “right?” is a verbal way of putting your arm around the person’s shoulder in solidarity.

So why not just say “I know” (IK)? In writing, where tone can be hard to discern, “I know” can come across as if the person didn’t need to say what they said because you already know it. This might seem rude if they were venting or looking for empathy rather than just sharing information. Adding “right?” to the end is literally asking if they agree, a question that is unnecessary but shows you care about the other person’s perspective.

IKR is for casual use only, so there are no rules about using punctuation with it or capitalizing it. Though the phrase it stands for is correctly written with a question mark, it’s fine to write IKR without a question mark. To learn more about it, let’s look at the various settings in which people use this abbreviation in English writing.

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IKR meaning in text

In text messaging, IKR usually shows that someone agrees, and it takes on the tone set by the person it’s responding to. The person who writes IKR may be agreeing with a positive feeling or commiserating with a negative feeling.

With IKR, the shared view is more than simple agreement. It’s enthusiastic, unreserved agreement. Here’s an example:

  • Person 1: That restaurant was so good
  • Person 2: IKR! The gulab jamun is like little pieces of heaven

Sometimes IKR agrees with someone showing relief:

  • Person 1: God, I’m so glad that final is over. So done with this class
  • Person 2: ikr. Think I did ok on it

Another possible meaning of IKR is agreement with surprise:

  • Person 1: I was amazed that Jennie made it to the party!
  • Person 2: Omg ikr! She came a long way and it was so great to see her

It can also agree with someone showing a negative feeling, such as disgust or annoyance:

  • Person 1: You would think Dave could handle writing that report since he’s always telling us how to do it better
  • Person 2: God, IKR. He should try some of those tips himself and be quiet

IKR can agree with sarcasm, too. In the example below, the first person is joking, saying something they don’t really mean, and the person who answers “IKR” understands that and adds to the joke.

  • Person 1: It was great of her to leave right before the boss came in.
  • Person 2: ikr? She’s the teammate we all dreamed of

IKR meaning in chat

In a chat, IKR has the same meaning as in text. IKR may be appropriate for some chat settings, but not others. For example, it’s common on gaming platforms:

  • Person 1: Man, level 4 was tough. Took forever to beat it
  • Person 2: Yeah, ikr? took me like a week

However, it’s probably too casual for work-related and academic chat settings. And you likely won’t have a reason to use it in, say, tech support chats or while chatting about a business’s products and services.

Other examples of IKR

Besides in text messaging and chatting, you might see people using IKR on social media. Below is an example from Twitter in which the tweeter assumes the reader will think he is selfish, and he agrees.

You may also see IKR in memes that people share online. The example below shows Nicolas Cage with extremely wide eyes, displaying a level of agreement that’s almost fanatical.

As we mentioned in the section about chats, IKR is great for casual conversation but not so great for professional and academic writing. While your writing can still be conversational at work, IKR is much more casual than common abbreviations like EOD and FYI. In academia, where writing is very structured, it’s best to stick to formal language.

For those work emails, business documents, and academic papers, you may not be able to use IKR, but you can use QuillBot to make sure that what you’ve written is clear, correct, and convincing. Try our free Proofreader, Spell Checker, Summarizer, and more.

Why do people use IKR?

People use IKR to show friendly agreement with another person’s thoughts or feelings.

What is the alternative for IKR?

In professional and academic settings, IKR is too casual. Use one of these phrases instead:

  • I agree
  • agreed
  • exactly
  • that is correct
  • that is accurate
  • I see what you mean
  • I understand
  • I could not agree more
  • I feel the same way
  • I can relate to that
  • I share your opinion


Hannah Skaggs

Along with Mitchell Allen

Hannah, a writer and editor since 2017, specializes in clear and concise academic and business writing. She has mentored countless scholars and companies in writing authoritative and engaging content.

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