Galina Mihaylova & Anton Ivanov

Most Commonly Used CW Abbreviations

In CW operation, most of the expressions during radio communication are actually codes or abbreviations of English words.

Here are the most commonly used CW codes, fusion characters and abbreviations:

AGN again
ANT antenna
AR end of transmission (merged character)
AS wait a moment, hold (merged character)
B4 before
VK break, interruption, interrupt, interrupt
BTW by the way
CFM confirm
CL initial
CL turn off station (merged character)
CQ common call for all stations
CU let’s meet
CUL see you later
CPI accepted
CPY accepted
DE from here (eg W1ZZZ DE LZ2ZZZ)
DWN down
ES and, also
FB excellent
FER for
GA go ahead
GA good afternoon
GD good
GD good day
GE good evening
GL good luck
GM good morning
GN good night
GUD good
HI cw laugh
HNY Happy New Year
HR here
HW how (eg HW CPY)
K “over” for you, my line is over, I accept.
KN “over” just for you, you go, the others stay away, please.
LP long way (walkthrough)
LSN listening
MX Merry Christmas
N no (negation)
NR number
NR near
NW now
OM old friend (male ham)
OP operator
OPR operator
PSE please
PWR power
R understood, yes, confirm, accepted
RCVR receiver
RX receiver
RIG hardware
RPT repeat
RPRT report
SK end of link (merged character)
SK shut up key dead ham
SP short path (walkthrough)
SRI I’m sorry, I apologize
TMW tomorrow
TMRW tomorrow
TKS thank you
TNX thank you
TRX transceiver
TU thank you
TX transmitter
UFB extremely good
UR yours, yours
VY many
WX weather (meteorological)
XMAS Christmas
XYL ham radio wife or other lady who is no longer YL
YL young lady, miss
YR year
51 and 55 ST slangs. Don’t use them! Bad practice.
73 all the best
88 love and kisses
99 go away, change carrier – not recommended. Bad practice.

“73” and “88” are also used a lot in telephony: never say or write “many 73s”, “best 73s”; all these combinations are incorrect. The same goes for “88”. Always say in the singular, never with additions that make it sound plural.

“99” is a rude code and good manners exclude it. We don’t recommend using it, no matter how angry someone is on the air.

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