92 Teen Text Terms Decoded for Confused Parents

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Not so long ago, most teenagers’ text messages read to other people like a jumble of seemingly disconnected letters, numbers, and odd punctuation. Using a combination of shortened words, creative spellings, and a liberal sprinkling of unusual punctuation, teen text message mavens created their own form of language — so-called text speak (a term itself boiled down to “txtspk”).

These days, teens are texting more than ever, but the advent of QWERTY smartphone keyboards, predictive text, autocorrect, and the removal of message character limits should allow young social butterflies the opportunity to type full, real words. However, the confusing shorthand continues to live on anyway. With the help of Twitter, the microblogging site that still limits each post to a mere 140 characters, abbreviated slang appears to be here to stay.

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A field guide to text terms and abbreviations

To help you in your quest to decode your kids’ space-constrained text babble, we’ve compiled a list of popular terms and abbreviations. Don’t be surprised if you see variations when it comes to capitalization or style; it’s common for some kids to prefer all caps to lowercase or even changing capitalization, whether at the beginning or middle of a message.

These 92 terms are among the most popular, but know that this is just the tip of the iceberg.

  1. 143 I love you (popularized by no less awesome a source than Mister Rogers himself)
  2. 2DAY Today
  3. 4EAE For ever and ever
  4. ADN Any day now
  5. AFAIK As far as I know
  6. AFK Away from keyboard
  7. ATM At the moment
  8. B/C Because
  9. B4 Before
  10. BF / GF Boyfriend / Girlfriend
  11. BFN Bye for now
  12. BOL Be on later
  13. BRB Be right back
  14. BTW By the way
  15. DM Direct message
  16. DWBH Don’t worry, be happy
  17. F2F or FTF Face to face
  18. FB Facebook
  19. FF Follow Friday (Follow Friday is a recurring topic on Twitter. Each week, users post lists of people that they think others should followusing the #FF or #FollowFriday hashtag.)
  20. FTL For the loss / For the lose
  21. FTW For the win
  22. FWB Friends with benefits
  23. FWIW For what it’s worth
  24. FYEO For your eyes only
  25. FYI For your information
  26. GLHF Good luck, have fun
  27. GR8 Great
  28. HAK Hugs and kisses
  29. HAND Have a nice day
  30. HT or H/T Hat tip or heard through (usually referencing news or an informative link)
  31. HTH Hope this helps / Happy to help
  32. IANAL I am not a lawyer
  33. IDK I don’t know
  34. IIRC If I remember correctly
  35. IKR I know, right?
  36. ILY / ILU I love you
  37. IMHO In my honest opinion / In my humble opinion
  38. IMO In my opinion
  39. IRL In real life
  40. IU2U It’s up to you
  41. IYKWIM If you know what I mean
  42. J/K Just kidding
  43. J4F Just for fun
  44. JIC Just in case
  45. JSYK Just so you know
  46. K or KK Okay
  47. LMBO Laughing my butt off
  48. LMK Let me know
  49. LOL Laughing out loud
  50. MM Music Monday. Another recurring Twitter topic. In this case, users post a song or two that will get your week off to a better start.
  51. MSM Mainstream media
  52. NAGI Not a good idea
  53. NM Never mind
  54. NMU Not much, you?
  55. NP No problem or Now playing (as in “My MP3 stream is now playing LMFAO’s Party Rock.)
  56. NSFW Not safe for work. If this is attached to a link, you’re strongly advised not to check it out while in the workplace or any other venue where inappropriate content would be, well, inappropriate.
  57. NSFL Not safe for life. Usually a humorous disclaimer that something formerly innocent is going to be irreparably sullied if you click the link.
  58. NTS Note to self
  59. OH Overheard
  60. OMG Oh my God
  61. ORLY Oh, really?
  62. PAW Parents are watching
  63. PLS or PLZ Please
  64. PPL People
  65. PTB Please text back
  66. QQ Crying. Rather than an abbreviation, this is an emoticon, a picture created in text. The tails of the capital Q form tears, while the circles are the eyes. Saying “QQ” aloud also can mimic the “boo hoo” of someone who’s upset. Usually used sarcastically or contemptuously.
  67. RAK Random act of kindness
  68. RL Real life
  69. ROFL Rolling on the floor laughing
  70. RT Retweet. Similar to forwarding an email, Twitter lets you echo other people’s tweets for your own followers to read. In some cases, folks will ask for something they’ve said to be amplified by saying “Please RT” or “PLS RT.”
  71. RUOK Are you okay? In Australia, #RUOK is a regularly trending topic, following a government initiative called RUOK Day, which raises awareness of mental health issues on social networking sites.
  72. SMH Shaking my head
  73. SRSLY Seriously
  74. SSDD Same stuff, different day
  75. SWAK Sealed with a kiss
  76. SWYP So, what’s your problem?
  77. TIA Thanks in advance
  78. TIME Tears in my eyes
  79. TMB Tweet me back
  80. TMI Too much information
  81. TMRW Tomorrow
  82. TTYL Talk to you later
  83. TY or TU Thank you
  84. VSF Very sad face
  85. WB Welcome back
  86. WTH What the heck?
  87. WTPA Where the party at?
  88. WYCM Will you call me?
  89. YGM You’ve got mail (to alert your texting partner that you’ve contacted them via that staid old email thing. That’s sooo 2001!)
  90. YMMV Your mileage may vary
  91. YW You’re welcome
  92. ZOMG Oh my god (sarcastic)

This article was written by Jessica Citizen and originally appeared on Tecca.

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