What Does IIRC Mean?

How to use this popular acronym

IIRC is an acronym that stands for:

  1. If I Recall Correctly; or
  2. If I Remember Correctly.

There are two variations of this acronym, however the words "recall" and "remember" can be used interchangeably since there's not enough of a difference between them to change the meaning of the acronym in a significant way. Both variations of this acronym refer to the process of bringing a memory back into your present awareness.

How IIRC Is Used

People use IIRC to affirm that they're explaining something that happened in the past according to their memory of it. It typically serves as a caution phrase in case certain details are unintentionally explained incorrectly or left out entirely (due to being difficult to remember correctly or at all).

An image graphic of a person texting IIRC on a smartphone.

IIRC might also be used by someone who wants to appear more innocent and forgivable for sharing a very strong opinion or biased judgement about something that happened in the past, based on personal experience and perspective. This, however, is a less common way to use it.

IIRC is often used directly before explaining a memory––at the beginning of a sentence––or directly after it, at the end of a sentence. It can also be used in the middle of a sentence as a very quick reference to a specific memory.

Whether IIRC refers to "If I Recall Correctly" or "If I Remember Correctly" is completely up to the person or people interpreting it. Since both mean the exact same thing, it doesn't matter if you intend to mean "If I Recall Correctly" and someone who reads it interprets it as "If I Remember Correctly," or vice versa.

Examples of IIRC in Use

Example 1

Friend #1 text: "What time did we say for everyone to meet up?"

Friend #2 text: "10:30 but the library doesn't open on Sundays until 11 iirc..."

In this first example, Friend #1 asks a simple question in a text and Friend #2 responds with an answer and an extra detail that they're recalling from memory about the library hours. At the end, they add IIRC, which serves as a caution phrase in case they're actually wrong about what time the library opens.

Example 2

Friend #1 text: "John isn't answering any of my texts. Can you text him to see if he'll text you back?"

Friend #2 text: "Sure. IIRC, he was acting like a real jerk when I saw him briefly two weeks ago."

This second example shows how IIRC can be used at the beginning of a sentence instead of at the end. And instead of being used to help make up for potential errors or misinformation, it's used to help excuse Friend #2's opinion of John based on a memory with him in it. He may have not been interpreted as acting like a jerk by somebody else, but Friend #2 experienced it that way from their perspective.

Example 3

Facebook status update: "The way my dog looked at me before he had to be put down, iirc, was the purest look of love, loyalty, despair and understanding... all wrapped up into one emotionally gut-wrenching moment."

In this last example, a Facebook user incorporates IIRC in the middle of an emotional status update about their dog. IIRC is used to reference the expression on their dog's face according to how they remember it — whether it actually did look like that or the memory of it was simply warped by their heightened emotions.

Other Variations of IIRC

IIRC is the most common acronym used online and in text messaging, but there are a couple of other variations of this expression that mean almost the exact same thing. These include:

IIAC: If I Am Correct

IIANM: If I Am Not Mistaken

The only difference between IIRC and the above acronyms is that IIRC typically refers to a memory of the past whereas IIAC and IIAMN are used to refer to facts that are not limited by time.

With IIAC and IIAMN, the fact is expected to be true in the present moment, even if it was true in the past or will be true in the future. (Example: "The trilliums tend to bloom in late May to early June, IIAC.")