If you’ve thanked someone online, there’s a good chance that they responded with the initialism “NP.” We’ll tell you what it means and how to use it when chatting with your friends.
NP stands for “No problem.” It’s usually used as a replacement for “You’re welcome” when thanks is offered.
“No problem” can be abbreviated in both lowercase (np) and uppercase (NP). The lowercase variant is more common in personal messages. You’ll frequently see it online when people are thanked for helping others for things such as giving useful advice or providing answers to a question.
NP is frequently used on its own without being put into a longer sentence. The acronym already creates a complete sentence when used as a response to someone else.
Another popular way to truncate the phrase is by saying “No prob.” “No problem” is synonymous with the idiomatic expression “No big deal” and its acronym NBD, as well as “No sweat.”
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The History of NP
Like most internet acronyms, NP emerged around the time of early internet chatrooms. Since people had limited screen space to see text back then, they needed to shorten common phrases and make conversations snappier. Hence, abbreviated terms like NP became commonplace.
The oldest definition of NP in the Urban Dictionary dates back to 2002 and reads “No problem.” It’s likely been in use long before this, as internet chatrooms date back to the 1980s.
Since then, NP has become a common acronym everywhere. It shows up in texts, chat messages, and on social media platforms such as Twitter. It’s also frequently seen in online games. Players often thank other users for providing support or assistance, responding with a simple “np.”
NP to Show Agreement
Another common use of NP is to show agreement to a request. For example, if you’re at work and someone tells you to perform a task, you might respond to them with “No problem” or “NP.” In this case, NP is acting as a substitute for “Yes.”
It can also be used to convey that a potentially large or intimidating task is still doable. For example, if someone asks you, “Can you finish all ten pages in three hours?”, you might say, “NP” to denote that it can indeed be done.
Using NP to Downplay Effort
Another frequent use of NP is to downplay something that you did. For example, if you go out of your way to do a favor for someone, you might use the term to imply that it didn’t require a lot of effort on your part. It essentially tells the other person that you don’t need to be thanked.
Frequently, someone will use NP to downplay their effort even if they actually encountered problems while completing the task at hand. For example, if you stayed up all night to help someone finish a project that you had no involvement in, you might still say, “No problem” in response to their outpouring of gratitude. More often than not, this is meant to signal humility to the other person.
How to Use NP
NP and “No problem” have a wide range of use cases. Here’s a summary of the situations in which NP can be used. It can be used:
- instead of “You’re welcome” in response to thanks.
- to replace “Yes” when something is being agreed to.
- to downplay the effort you put into something.
Since it’s an abbreviation, it’s best to use NP only in casual conversations. If you’re discussing something formally, using “You’re welcome” or “Yes” might be better.
Here’s an example of NP being used correctly in a casual conversation:
- Person A: “Hey, thanks for the help last night. I really owe you one.”
- Person B: “Ah, np. It’s the least I could do.”
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