Text slang, DECODED : Abbreviations every parent should know

Every generation has its own lingo, and new words and phrases have been entering the English language for as long as there’s been an English language. In days of yore, you could eavesdrop on your teenagers to know what they were up to and when to intervene, but digital communication has made this more difficult. Not only can they text away in silence, but also much of what they write is encoded so that you can’t understand it. Modern slang is evolving at hyper speed. As part of our Look Local series on social media and its impacts, this month we’re offering translations of text slang that you may want to be aware of, particularly in light of cyber-bullying, online sexual exploitation, mental health problems and other behaviours that teenagers get up to because their frontal lobes haven’t caught up to their physical urges.


1174 — Meet at a party spot
420 — Marijuana reference
53X — Code for sex
8 — Code for oral sex
99 — Parents are gone
9 & CD9 —“Code 9” (or P911) Parents are around
Basic —Someone who is
boring or conforming
BFN — Bye for now
CTN — Can’t talk now
CU46 — See you for sex
FTF or F2F — Face to face
FWB — Friends with Benefits
FYEO — For your eyes only
GNOC — Get naked on camera
GTG — Got to go
ILY — I love you
IRL — In real life
FINSTA — Fake instagram account
KMN — Kill me now
KYS — Kill yourself
LH6 — Let’s have sex
Lit/Turnt/Turnt Up
— Something that’s active or popular, but can also mean
stoned or drunk
Netflix and Chill
— Getting together for sex
PAL — parents are listening
WTTP — Want to trade pics?
THOT – Stands for “that hoe over there” and is often used instead of “slut”
TWD – Texting While Driving

#cuts – cutting or self-harming
#gokillyourself – often used for bullying
#livingdangerously – can sometimes describe unsafe behavior
#lmirl – let’s meet in real life
#selfharmmm – self-harming like cutting or burning
#sue – suicide
#thinspiration – may be used to talk about eating disorders
#yag – you are gay, often used for bullying

More exhaustive lists are widely available online.

We all love our kids. We want them to make good friends and good choices. And, we want them to feel comfortable talking to us about their lives. A lot of that happens, and we’re thankful when it does. However we all at some point need a reality check. The lives our kids lead will also be partially hidden from us – at least the parts they feel are too personal, embarrassing, humiliating or risque to discuss.

Knowledge is power, when it comes to parenting. Seek it out and use it.


by Elaine Jackson


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