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You might have noticed someone’s profile on a messaging app read, “NR, going camping.” What exactly is “NR,” and what does it have to do with camping? Read on to find out.

No Reply or Response

NR stands for either “no reply” or “no response.” This is an initialism used to tell others that you will stop replying to their messages for a while or to point out that someone hasn’t been responding to your messages. For example, if you’re on vacation for an extended period without internet, you might add to your profile, “Going without internet for two weeks, NR.” You might also refer to someone else as being NR, such as “she’s gone completely NR for a while.”

The initialism can be written in both the uppercase “NR” and the lowercase “nr.” You should note that NR has a few other meanings, which might also be applicable on the internet depending on the context. One of these is “not rated,” a type of consumer rating you might see on films and video games. This means that something has not been deemed suitable for any particular age group yet.

Another common definition is “no-reserve,” a type of auction with no reserve price, which is the minimum price that a seller is willing to accept. This means that whoever bids the highest amount will get the item, regardless of the offered price. You may see NR auctions being referred to in online stores with bidding, such as eBay.

This slang term has some similarities with “AFK” or “away from keyboard.” While AFK refers typically to a short time, being “NR” tends to last for much longer.

A History of NR and Snapchat

Hand holding smartphone up to trees with "No service" on display
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Among online slang terms, NR’s rise to common internet use is one of the newest. Thanks to a definition on Urban Dictionary from 2007 that defines it as “no response,” we know that there are traces of the term being used in instant messenger as far back as the late 2000s. The term saw some moderate use in the years following those.

However, NR took off around 2017 to 2018 because of the social chatting app Snapchat. One of Snapchat’s most famous features is “streaks,” which encourages forming continuous text chains with others by messaging them daily. There are numbers next to someone else’s profile that notes how long a streak has been going on. For people who constantly use Snapchat, having a streak be broken can be frustrating. That’s why users would add “NR” to their profile to let others know that they won’t be replying and would likely break streaks.

Eventually, the use of “NR” crept into other social media and messaging apps as well, such as iMessage, WhatsApp, and Telegram.

Reply Culture

One of the biggest reasons people have adopted this term in recent years is the shift in expectations people have when it comes to replying. Whereas older internet users regularly expected others to stop responding because of a lack of access to a device, nowadays, everyone has their phone all the time. This means there’s an expectation for others to reply very quickly.

Because of this, some people may find a lack of response to be frustrating. This is why users have to tell others that they’ll be “NR” to manage expectations. It’s also why you might characterize someone else being “NR” as an insult.

Another part of this anxiety when it comes to responding comes from a fear of ghosting. It’s the practice of talking to someone initially, then completely stopping all communication with them after a certain period. Because ghosting is so common on the internet, especially in the dating scene, some people reiterate that they’re simply bad at responding to messages to assuage those fears. Hence, pointing out that they’re NR.

RELATED: What Does "Ghosting" Mean in Online Dating?

How to Use NR

To summarize, there are two ways to use NR. You could tell others that you’ll be NR, either by sending them a message or adding it to your profile. You could also refer to someone else as being NR.

Here are a few ways to use NR:

  • “NR, going to the beach.”
  • “Hey, I’m going to have no cell service in the mountains, so I’ll be NR for a while.”
  • “They’ve been completely nr for the last few weeks. I wonder if I got ghosted.”

If you’re eager to learn other internet slang terms, make sure to check out our pieces on TIL, IRL, and BRB. You’ll be texting like an online expert before you know it!

RELATED: What Does "BRB" Mean, and How Do You Use It?

Profile Photo for Vann Vicente Vann Vicente
Vann Vicente has been a technology writer for four years, with a focus on explainers geared towards average consumers. He also works as a digital marketer for a regional e-commerce website. He's invested in internet culture, social media, and how people interact with the web.
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