Young woman smiling and crossing her arms to form an "X."
Yuriy Lukin/

That’s not the typo on the name of a popular newspaper. NTY is an acronym you can use to politely say no to a frustrating person or an unappealing offer. Here’s how to use it.

No Thank You

NTY means “no thank you.” People use it online to tell someone that you’re not interested in what they have to offer. This acronym is common in online chats, social media posts, and MMOs. You can write it in both the uppercase “NTY” and the lowercase “nty.”

Depending on how you use the acronym, the “thank you” part may seem genuine and sincere, or it might feel dismissive. For example, if you’re replying to someone asking if you’d like a cupcake, but you’re currently cutting down on sugar, you might reply, “NTY! I’m currently reducing my sugar intake.” This assures that person that you appreciate the thought, but you’ll have to decline for now.

NTY is synonymous with “no, thanks,” a common phrase also used to decline someone’s offer politely. However, since it’s so short, NTY takes on a slightly different attitude. NTY can seem much more brusque than “no, thanks.” This acronym is also related to “TY,” which stands for ‘thank you.”

Where NTY Comes From

NTY was coined in the early days of the internet, gaining traction in online message boards and IRC chat groups. Since people had minimal screen space, early internet adopters used shorthand terms like NTY to talk to each other. This acronym is likely a spin-off from TY or “thank you.” The first definition for NTY on the online slang database Urban Dictionary comes from 2005 and reads “NTY: no thank you. Thanks but no” and makes a humorous reference to the LAN game Counter-Strike.

As instant messengers and chatting apps became more prominent, NTY started to get used more frequently. It’s a great way to close off a conversation that’s become annoying or stop someone from messaging you repeatedly. It can also be a great way to respond to people sending unsolicited sales pitches to your inbox.

Polite Refusal

NTY is a relatively polite way of refusing something, especially when compared to other internet phrases like “hell no” and “hard pass.” However, a lot of it depends on the context.

NTY could come across as blunt. Since it’s so short and straightforward, it might be a great way to shut down someone who’s being unreasonable or rude. For example, if someone sends a very long-winded messaging asking you out on a date, you might reply solely with “NTY” as a way of telling them that you’re not interested.

You could also use it to hint at someone that you might be the wrong person to ask at the moment. For example, you might say “NTY, but I’m swamped” to someone inviting you to a night out. While this doesn’t close the door on future openings, it does let them know that you’re unavailable right now.


Closeup of the New York Times front page.

NTY bears some similarities with a few other acronyms, so you may want to double-check, so you don’t mix up these definitions. When written in the uppercase NTY, it might be a typo for NYT, which stands for the New York Times. Since NYT is one of the most popular news sources globally, it’s a common typo, especially on social media websites like Twitter, where you cannot edit posts. However, you can likely pick up on some context clues to figure out if a poster means to use NTY or NYT.

When it’s written in the lowercase nty, it might be a typo for “nyt,” which is an abbreviated form of “good night.” This shorthand is for personal conversations between people, especially very close friends or romantic partners. The word “nyt” typically bookends a conversation before someone is about to go to sleep.

RELATED: 4 Grammar Checker Services That Will Terrify Your Typos

How to Use NTY

If you want to use NTY, simply add it to your texts when you’d like to decline an offer politely. Alternatively, you can use it on its own to shut down a conversation or stop someone from spamming your DMs. Here are a few examples of NTY in action:

  • “NTY, I’m full.”
  • “NTY. I’m not interested.”
  • “NTY! I need to do my laundry, but maybe next time!”

If you want to learn about other internet acronyms, check out our pieces on OFC, TTYL, and TBF. You’ll be an online slang expert in record time!

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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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