Texting, do you understand?

Teens texting and social media translation!

What does #ana mean and should you be concerned?

From Teen Translation Tool by Nottinghamshire Police.


Teen translation tool

"That party was lit, but I wish Jake hadn't gone. I just can't even. Anyway, at least all the squad was together #squadgoals"

It can sometimes seem like teenagers are speaking a different language especially when they are texting or on social media.

The list of words #tags and phases below could help you understand some of the common terms that they use when talking to each other, however please be aware this language is fluid and can change.

If you spot any of the Warning flag terms it may be time for you to ask some questions or start a discussion by asking them for advice! You could ask "how do I know who I am talking to online" (grooming)! "How can I trust what they say" (extreme views)? "Someone at work was asked to send a nude photo of themselves to a new online friend (sexting)? and so on. Keep it friendly, listen to what they say and discuss ways in which they, you and friends can guard against nasty people spoiling eveyones fun.

We've broken the list down into three areas:

  1. Warning flags - phrases which imply they are involved in some activities which would be cause for concern.
  2. Terms to keep an eye on - they might be slightly concerning but, in context, they're generally harmless.
  3. Fun - these are terms which are just slang or abbreviations with no concerning connotations.

Remember, not everyone will use the same slang, but this should prompt you to take a moment to understand what your teen is talking about online and, if anything causes you concern, ask them about it.

Warning flags

  • #ana - anorexia
  • #deb - depression
  • #sue - suicide
  • #svv - self-harming behaviour
  • #thinsp - thinspiration (photos or messages that inspire an effort to become thin)
  • 9 - a parent is watching
  • 420 - marijuana
  • ASL - age, sex, location
  • CD9 - parents are around
  • Crow - cannabis
  • CU46 - see you for sex
  • Daddy - can mean a partner who takes good care of you affectionately or someone with great influence and power over you
  • Down in the DM - short for plans in their social media or texts for an upcoming sexual hook-up
  • F2F or FTF - face to face
  • FWB - friends with benefits
  • FYEO - for your eyes only
  • GNOC - get naked on camera
  • Hooking up - having sex
  • 'I know a way you can earn money fast' - a possible way of asking for photos/webcam access or a way to get information to blackmail a young person
  • 'I know someone who can get you a modelling job' - a possible way of asking for photos and flattering the young person
  • IRL - in real life
  • IWSN - I want sex now
  • Let's go private - leave the public chatroom and create a private chat or move to instant-messaging/texting
  • LMIRL - let's meet in real life
  • KPC - keep parents clueless
  • Merked - really drunk or beaten up or getting found out or getting told off
  • MIRL - meeting in real life
  • Molly - ecstasy/MDMA (unless they really do have a friend called Molly! Context is everything)
  • MOOS - member of the opposite sex
  • MOS - mum over shoulder
  • Moving to (someone) - approaching, either aggressively or romantically
  • Netflix 'n Chill - to meet under the pretence of watching Netflix/TV together when actually planning to meet for 'making out' or sex
  • NIFOC - naked in front of computer
  • NSFL - not safe for life
  • NSFW - not safe for work
  • P911 or P999 - parents are watching
  • POS - parents over shoulder
  • Pre-ing - pre-drinking
  • RU/18 - are you over 18?
  • Sket - insulting term used towards girls
  • Smash - to have casual sex
  • Swipe right - term of approval derived from dating app Tinder
  • Thirsty - being desperate for something
  • Trolling - fooling someone - often used when people are commenting nasty abuse online
  • Wavey - drunk or high
  • 'Where's your computer in your house?' - possibly a way of checking to see if parents might be around
  • 'Who/What's your favourite band/designer/film/gear?' - possibly a way of trying to get to know more so that they can offer gifts
  • Wired - drug induced paranoia
  • WYRN - what's your real name?
  • 'You are the love of my life' - possibly a way of flattering a young person and creating an emotional bond with them
  • 'You seem sad. Tell me what's bothering you' - possibly a way of expressing sympathy and inviting them to share personal information
  • Zerg - to gang up on someone

Terms to keep an eye on

  • 4eae - for ever and ever
  • AND - any day now
  • AF - as f**k
  • Aired - ignoring someone
  • Are you parring me? - are you showing me disrespect?
  • B - babe (can be just a friend)
  • Bae - short for 'baby' and used as a term of endearment for a significant other such as a boyfriend or girlfriend. Short for 'before anyone else'
  • Basic - lacking originality
  • Begfriend - someone who sucks up to someone else
  • BFN - bye for now
  • BOL - be on later
  • Bookie - weird or disgusting
  • Booted - left behind or dumped
  • Butters - ugly person
  • Bye Felicia - dismissive term when you want an annoying person to go away
  • Curve - to reject someone romantically
  • Dime - someone who is extremely good looking
  • DM - direct message
  • Ghost - ghosting someone is to completely ignore someone suddenly, usually as a nasty way of breaking up with someone
  • GLHF - good luck, have fun
  • HT or H/T - heard through
  • HAK - hugs and kisses
  • IANAL - I am not a lawyer
  • ILY or ILU - I love you
  • IU2U - it's up to you
  • IYKWIM - if you know what I mean
  • J4F - just for fun
  • JIC - just in case
  • J/K - just kidding
  • Kicked - left behind
  • Low key - a warning that what they're saying isn't something they want everyone to know
  • NAGI - not a good idea
  • OH - overheard
  • PAP - post a picture
  • Peng or tidy - really attractive
  • Preeing - looking at someone online (also know as 'Facebook stalking')
  • PTB - please text back
  • QQ - crying
  • RL - real life
  • Salty - to be bitter about something or someone
  • Ship - relationship or to admire a couple (such as 'I ship them')
  • Sip tea - to mind your own business
  • Skurt - go away or leave
  • Slept - to knock someone out
  • Slipping - messing up
  • Stacked - built, really muscly, toned
  • Swag - confidence or fancy clothes/jewellery
  • SWAK - sealed with a kiss
  • SWYP - so what's your problem?
  • TBR - to be rude
  • Throw shade - to give someone a nasty look or say something unpleasant about them
  • TIME - tears in my eyes
  • TMB - tweet me back
  • VSF - very sad face
  • WTH or WTF - what the heck?
  • WTPA - where's the party at?
  • WYCM - will you call me?
  • WYSIWYG - what you see is what you get
  • YGM - you've got mail
  • YOLO - you only live once

Fun

  • :3 - a symbol designed to represent a cat face, to be used after saying something cute, odd or coy
  • 2day - today
  • Acc - actually
  • AFAIK - as far as I know
  • AFK - away from keyboard
  • ATM - at the moment
  • B4 - before
  • Baffed - confused
  • Banter - fun chat
  • Bare or bear - 'really really'
  • B/C - because
  • BF or GF - boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Blates - obviously
  • Blessed - nice person
  • Boots - a way to say 'very' or 'a lot' - it's used after the verb or adjective
  • BRB - be right back
  • Bromance - close friendship between two boys
  • Bruh - a casual nickname for 'bro'
  • BTW - by the way
  • Buck me - give me
  • Buff - attractive
  • Can't even - an expression of exasperation
  • CBA - can't be bothered
  • Cray - crazy
  • Cuz - friend
  • Dench - fantastic/cool
  • Dope - really cool/awesome
  • DWBH - don't worry be happy
  • Fail - something goes wrong
  • Fam - their closest friends
  • FB - Facebook
  • Feels - feelings
  • FF - Follow Friday
  • Fierce - looking amazing/incredible
  • FOMO - fear of missing out
  • FTL - for the loss
  • FTW - for the win
  • FWIW - for what it's worth
  • FYI - for your information
  • G - a friend (boy to boy)
  • Gassed - happy
  • GOAT - greatest of all time
  • GR8 - great
  • GTG - got to go
  • Gucci - something is good or cool
  • HAND - have a nice day
  • Hella - really
  • HTH - hope this helps or happy to help
  • Hundo P - 100% sure/certain
  • IDEK - I don't even know
  • IDK - I don't know
  • IIRC - if I remember correctly
  • IK - I know
  • IKR - I know right?
  • Ill - fantastic or cool
  • IMHO - in my honest opinion
  • IMO - in my opinion
  • Is everything - great/important
  • It's lit - it's cool/awesome
  • I'm weak - that was funny
  • Jarring - annoying
  • Jokes - really funny
  • JSYK - just so you know
  • K or KK - okay
  • Legend - someone or something considered very cool
  • LMAO or LMBO - laughing my butt off
  • LMK - let me know
  • Lol - laugh out loud
  • MM - Music Monday
  • MSM - mainstream media
  • NM - never mind
  • NMU - not much, you?
  • NP - no problem or now playing
  • NTS - note to self
  • Obvi - obviously
  • OMG - oh my God
  • On fleek - on point or executed really well
  • ORLY - oh really?
  • OTP - the fictional couple you think were meant to be together
  • Peak - unfortunate
  • Pls or plz - please
  • PPL - people
  • RAK - random act of kindness
  • ROFL - rolling on the floor laughing
  • RT - retweet
  • RUOK - are you okay?
  • Skl - school
  • Safe - reliable or good person
  • SSDD - same stuff, different day
  • Savage - cool
  • Sick - fantastic/cool
  • Slay - doing really well
  • Squad - their friend group
  • SMH - shaking my head
  • Snatched - same as 'on fleek'
  • SRSLY - seriously
  • Straight fire - something is hot or trendy
  • Swear - are you serious?
  • TBH - to be honest
  • TIA - thanks in advance
  • TMI - too much information
  • TMRW - tomorrow
  • To be down/pumped for something - excited to do something
  • Truss - I agree
  • TTYL - talk to you later
  • Turnt/turnt up - same as 'lit'
  • TY or TU - thank you
  • Ur - your/you're
  • V - very
  • YAS - enthusiastic version of yes
  • You da real MVP - thanks for doing a mundane but important task
  • YW - you're welcome
  • Wag1 or wagwan - what's up?
  • WB - welcome back
  • Woke - highly aware of social issues
  • ZOMG - oh my God

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