Twitter 101 - Learning the Lingo

last update 11/9/2020

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Missed the previous Tech Tip? Click the button below to learn how to get started using Twitter.

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Twitter Lingo


Favorites, represented by a heart icon next to a Tweet, are most commonly used when users like a Tweet.

Favoriting a tweet will

  • Let the original poster know that you liked their Tweet.
  • Save the Tweet for later, similar to bookmarking.

To favorite a Tweet, click the heart next to (or under) the message.

To unfavote a Tweet, click on the heart next to (or under) the message.


The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.

Categorizing by keyword

  • People use the hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search.
  • Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets marked with that keyword.

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A mention is any Twitter update that contains "@username" anywhere in the body of the Tweet.

Join the conversation on Twitter by mentioning users in your own Tweets.

To post a mention

  • Type your Tweet as you normally would, but replace any names you include with that person's @username. For example: "I love @Twitter!"
  • Click Tweet to post it.
  • The system will recognize and link to the @username in the Tweet.


A reply is any update posted by clicking the Reply button on a Tweet. Replies are also considered mentions since they include "@username" at the beginning of the tweet.

Start a conversation on Twitter by replying to other user's tweets.

To post a reply

  • Find the Tweet you want to @reply to.
  • Hover over the Tweet and click on the Reply button.
  • A Tweet box will pop up complete your @reply and click Tweet to post it.


A Retweet is a re-posting of someone else's Tweet. Twitter's Retweet feature helps you and others quickly share that Tweet with all of your followers.

What is RT?

  • Sometimes people type RT at the beginning of a Tweet to indicate that they are re-posting someone else's content, usually used when additional commentary is added to the original tweet.

What does a Retweet look like?

  • Retweets look like normal Tweets with the author's name and username next to it, but are distinguished by the Retweet icon and the name of the user who retweeted the Tweet. If you see a message from a stranger in your timeline, look for retweeted by info in the Tweet — the retweeter should be someone you follow.

To retweet a Tweet, click the retweet symbol (shown at right) next to (or under) the original message.

To remove a retweet, click on Retweeted next to (or under) the message.

Search Twitter

Click above to search Twitter for specific topics, keywords, and/or people.

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