By now, texting acronyms like LOL and OMG are pretty pervasive in pop culture; my daughter knew them in preschool, you hear them from the least hip anchors on TV morning shows, and heck, your own parents probably have texted you an LOL at some point. But when you’re the parent of a tween or teen, and you’re keeping careful track of who – and what – they’re texting, it’s good to be able dig a little deeper. Here, 99 texting acronyms and expressions that every parent should know. It’s not complete by any means, but it’s a start.
Of course, lots of text speak will vary by region or even school or peer group. This is really just to help you understand that this kind of language exists in the first place. And yes, there will be completely new ones by the time you have these memorized. Wily kids.
Related: Should I secretly spy on my teen using a tracking app? Reader Q&A
GENERAL TEXTING ACRONYMS BEYOND THE VERY BASICS
143 I love you
1432 I love you too
ATM At The moment
gerd Abbreviation for ermagerd (Oh my God)
CMB Call Me Back
CUNS See You In School
F2F Face to Face
FOAF Friend Of A Friend
FML F*** My Life
FTW For The Win
GTG Got to Go
GTFO Get the F* Out
HAK Hugs and Kisses
HMU Hit Me Up
IKR I Know, Right?
IDC I Don’t Care
IDK I don’t Know
ITA/D I Totally Agree/Disagree
IRL In real life
J/K Just Kidding
KWIM Know what I mean?
L&R Love and respect
MEGO My Eyes are Glazing Over
MYT Meet You There
NAGI Not A Good Idea
NBD No Big Deal
NGH Not Gonna Happen
NMP Not My Problem
NSFW Not Safe for Work
NSFL Not Safe for Life
NTIM Not That It Matters
OATUS On a totally unrelated subject
O RLY Oh, really?
P&C Private and Confidential
PITA Pain in the A**
REHI Hi, again
RUOK Are You OK?
QQ Crying (often humorously)
SFSG So Far So Good
SLT Something Like That
SOL Sh** Out of Luck
SUP What’s up?
UOK Are you okay?
4Q F*** You
VCDA Vaya Con Dios, Amigo
VSF Very Sad Face
WDYM What Do You Mean?
WFM Works For Me
WRUD What Are You Doing?
WTG Way To Go!
WTH What The Hell?
XOXOZZZ Hugs, kisses, sweet dreams
ZOMG Oh my God
Related: 10 questions parents should ask when writing a cell phone contract for kids
TEXTING ACRONYMS ABOUT THOSE PESKY PARENTS
AITR Adult in the Room
M/POS Mom/Parents over shoulder
PIR Parent in Room
PAL Parents are Listening
PAW Parents are Watching
CD9 Parents around/Code 9
PA / PA911 Parent Alert
9 Parent Watching
99 Parent Gone
Related: How to talk to teens and tweens about using tech safely
TEXTING ACRONYMS ABOUT SEX AND RELATIONSHIPS
?^ Want to Hook Up?
ASLP (What is your) Age/Sex/Location/Picture? (Also ASL)
CU46 See You For Sex
DYHAB/G Do You Have A Boyfriend/Girlfriend?
DTH Down To Hang (I’m up for getting together)
FWB Friends With Benefits
GNOC Get Naked on Camera
I&I Intercourse & Inebriation
IPN I’m Posting Naked
LH6 Let’s Have Sex
LJBF Let’s just be friends
LMIRL Let’s Meet In Real Life
LYLAB/S Love You Like A Brother/Sister
NSA No Strings Attached
RU/18 Are You Over 18?
WTTP Want To Trade Pictures?
*Note that most sexual Internet abbreviations are derived from dating sites and message boards. You’re more likely to see them on apps like Tinder than on texts to friends.
Related: 8 shocking statistics about kids and online behavior that will make you want to have another tech talk, now.
TEXTING ACRONYMS: THE SECRET LIFE OF TEENS
1174 The meeting place for a party
BYAM Between You and Me
4YEO For Your Eyes Only
CRAFT Can’t Remember a F’ing Thing
CICYHW Can I Copy Your Homework?
DADT Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
DOC Drug Of Choice
SOBT Stressed Out Big Time
TWD Texting While Driving
WTPA Where’s The Party At?
#-) Exhausted, partied all night
BYAM, this is GR8! As a non-tech 303, I love the insider 411, KWIM? W2G!
(Okay we made up an acronym for Made Our Day.)
this is not what teenagers say lmao
This is very helpful and informative. Thank you!
FTFY – fixed that for you
10Q for this comprehensive list.
It’s amazing that an entirely new language has grown up around social media.
I will definitely be passing this on to my Baby Boomer followers.
hey teens, guess what? 420 is not a secret!! We will know that one!
GERBRA = getting laid
DTF – Down To F**k
Parents beware, I learned this one the hard way from my daughter the other day:
DTA – Down to Anal
Okay, but more often than not I see it as DFA or D4A, but admit there are dialectic differences in some of these…
W00t is gamer slang for we own the other team. 😛
FTW does not mean “For the win” – it means F*#$ the World
Most common usage “Guy” is For the Win. Unless, evidently, you are in a biker gang?
http://netforbeginners.about.com/od/f/f/What-Is-FTW-for-the-Win.htm – Eds
YOLO = You Only Live Once
WOM = Word of Mouth
IDGF/IDGAF = I Don’t Give a F***
MCM = Man Crush Monday (Instagram thing)
WCW = Woman Crush Wednesday (Instagram)
LA2D = Let’s Agree to Disagree
Ed: As an internet “guru” doing it from b4 there was a web and sons in the trade – well connected – IDGAF about what the urban dictionary says – ask a hundred teens that WTF! Means and it’ll be What the F#ck! for 98 of them.
I see it used quite frequently, in context, and use it myself, of course YMMV.
Dave, we agree on WTF. Use it ourselves often. The discussion was about FTW – or For the Win. But hey, YMMV 🙂 – Eds
Great article though, even I saw one I didn’t already know.
As a teen, I’ve only seen 3 of these used with out sarcasm. We will always be ahead of adults. That’s how it has always been, that’s how it will always be.
Cant wait for the day you are an adult, Rachel.
But seriously, I’m an adult and most of these look like the acronyms used over 10 years ago on AIM and message boards.
Ok god i have to say it. Im a sixteen year old girl and we use maybe a tenth of those. Me and my friends were seriously shocked and laughing our asses off (or lmao-ing) because this was so ridiculous. Ok so for example – can i copy your homework? We dont care. We will flat out ask: can i copy your homework. If a two kids wanna hang out, they will say: hey lets hang out. Not some big secret k?
Yeah.. I’m 18 and as a teenager I can honestly say that we don’t text like this. Especially the “parent” section. Less than half of these are used. However, I can say that I totally understand why a parent would feel like they need these. This world is changing, and not for the better.
I’m pretty sure most of these were made up by some mom. Never in my life have I heard of most of these acronyms.
These are all made up. I know this for fact, because I just put them in front of 30 teens. Not one response.
As we said, slang of any kind will vary by state, by region, and even by school. So yes! They were all made up…by someone. Who is using them. We’re sure that in Canada, where you are, you have your own abbreviations.