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Does Teenage Text Slang Render Modern Parents Clueless?

Every generation has its own slang terms. At times, it can feel like one generation speaks an entirely different language than the next. This is especially true among the youngest generations today. Raised in a world of tech, teens often truly do speak their own language.

Their language: Text

Most of us have the basics down. LOL. TTYL. BRB. TY. NP. (If you don’t know these, take a crash course in basics here.) But every day, new abbreviations and codes are created. As we rely more and more on texting for communicating (and as we want things done faster and faster) this truncated language continues to grow.

What Are They Saying?

Addicted teenager lying and checking phone on a bench in parkAs a diligent parent, you probably check your child’s texts periodically (and if you don’t, it’s a good idea to make this a habit). You aren’t doing it to be nosy; you just want to make sure they aren’t doing anything inappropriate or unhealthy. Knowing you will be checking their phone can help keep them out of trouble.

The problem is, you might have no idea what you are reading. And if your teen knows you’ll be inspecting their phone, they may switch to coded texts. These messages might slip by your untrained eye. Some are probably harmless, but others could indicate unhealthy activities such as substance abuse.

Cracking the Code

To protect your teen, learn their language – it will help you spot harmful behavior so you can intervene. Even if they aren’t involved in anything negative, at least you’ll have a better idea of what they’re talking about!

Keep in mind, this is a dynamic language. Today’s blog post might be outdated in a few months. You’ll have to work to stay current on the latest lingo. Some good sites to help you keep up with your teen include:

Here’s a few of the top abbreviations and “codes” to watch for in your teen’s texts. GL!

  • LMK – Let me know
  • POS – Parent over shoulder
  • PAW – Parents are watching
  • IMO – In my opinion
  • BTW – By the way
  • FWB – Friends with benefits
  • NM – Never mind
  • Loud – Marijuana reference
  • Legal – Spice reference
  • 710 – Marijuana oil reference
  • 420 – Marijuana reference
  • Dabbing – Smoking marijuana extract/concentrates
  • Reggie – Marijuana reference
  • Lean – Cough syrup mixed with soda/candy
  • Cu46 – See you for sex
  • GNOC – Get naked on camera
  • GYPO – Get your pants off
  • IWS/YWS– I want sex/You want sex
  • NIFOC – Naked in front of computer
  • Emoji puff of smoke – Drug related
  • Emoji gasoline pump with G on it – Gang/gangster
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