Teenage Texting and Online Chat Acronyms

Teens use many acronyms when texting each other or chatting online. By now, we’ve all heard of LOL as it refers to laughing out loud and terms such as ASAP have been around since before the internet or text messages existed. Some abbreviations can be sounded out, such as L8r (later) or H8r (hater). Acronyms are used in texts as a way to save time when typing a message and they are also used as a way to code a message so that others do not know what is being discussed. An instant message to a friend that says CD9 could mean code 9: parents watching so that the recipient knows not to discuss anything inappropriate. Below is a list of acronyms used when text messaging or when in chat rooms or using instant messengers.

ASL – Asking a stranger for their Age, Sex and Location
BF / GF – BoyFriend / GirlFriend
BFF – Best Friends Forever
B4N / BFN – Bye for Now
BRB – Be Right Back
BTW – By The Way
F2F – Face to Face
FML – F*** my Life
FTW – F*** the World
GTG / G2G – Got to Go
GR8 – Great
HO – Hold On
IDC – I Don’t Care
IDK – I Don’t Know
ILY / ILU – I Love You
IMO / IMHO – In My Opinion / In My Humble Opinion
IWALY – I Will Always Love You
JP – Just Playing
L8R G8R – Later Gator
LMAO – Laughing My A** Off
MYOB – Mind Your Own Business
NM / NVM – Never Mind
OMG – Oh my God
POS – Parent Over Shoulder
ROTFL – Rolling on the Floor, Laughing
RME – Rolling My Eyes
SMH – Shaking My Head
S2R / STR – Send to Receive
STFU – Shut the F*** Up
TY – Thank You
TTYL – Talk to You Later
UR – You Are or You’re
WE – Whatever
WTF – What the F***
WTG – Way to Go
YW – You’re Welcome

There are lots of different variations and unique codes and acronyms which teens use to have secret conversations or send inside jokes. The best way to know what someone is talking about with an acronym is to take a few guesses first and then ask the sender or recipient what it means. Some acronyms used for text messaging can be hurtful or inappropriate. By understanding how acronyms are used and what they stand for, parents can make sure their teens are practicing safe online behavior.

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