Every generation adds something to its lexicon, and today’s teenagers are no different. These kids bring an array of dazzling new slang that leaves some parents none-too-hip, ya dig? If you still don’t know what “Netflix-and-chill” means and you want to learn how to decipher your teen’s texts, check out these 10 top teen texting codes that we’ve decoded for parents.
While parents may use the more innocuous, well-known acronyms (lol, jk, brb), here are some that you should definitely know.
1. KMS/KYS – Kill Myself/Kill Yourself
This is one of the more serious codes to look out for. If your teen uses KMS, he or she should seek help from a mental health professional or contact the suicide hotline. If you notice that your teen is using KYS, it’s time to talk to them about the danger and impact of this phrase, as this form of bullying could push someone in a more fragile mental state over the edge.
2. WTTP – Want to Trade Pics?
Today’s teens communicate via text, private messages, and Snapchat, and oftentimes, they will end up trading pictures (usually of a sexually explicit nature). The WTTP acronym means your teen is open to trading pictures, which can set them up for embarrassment, blackmail, or being victimized by online predators. Talk to your teen about the dangers and repercussions of trading compromising photos of themselves, even if they insist they are completely innocent.
3. FWB – Friends with Benefits
The bottom line is — many teens are going to have sex. And parents need to accept that teens will communicate their sexual desires via sexting. If you see your teen talking about “friends with benefits,” or no-strings-attached sex with a friend, you should have a chat right away.
4. TDTM – Talk Dirty to Me
More sexting jargon that teens use is TDTM, or “talk dirty to me.” You can assume that your teen is at least curious about sex if you see this acronym in any of their texts. If you haven’t discussed sex with your teen yet, this would be an opportune time.
5. Smash – Engage in Casual Sex
Another teen sexting code to look out for is “smash,” which means to have casual sex. Teens are going to experiment sexually and if they’re looking to smash with someone over text, you’re going to want to pay attention to those relationships. If you suspect your teen is having sex, look for code “99.” It means “parents are gone.”
6. MOS/POS – Mom/Parent Over Shoulder
This teen text code is used when a parent is nearby and they have to be careful about their conversation. If you see MOS/POS in your teen’s texts, you should pay careful attention to who they’re texting and what they’re saying. They may be hiding something you should know about.
7. Thirsty – Desperate for Attention (Usually Sexual)
Teens are at an age when garnering peer attention is paramount to their identity. When your teen mentions that they’re “thirsty”, they are craving attention, and not only attention from peers, but from potential lovers. Also pay special attention to the code “LH6”, which means, “let’s have sex”.
8. Lit/Turnt Up – Party Hard, Get High or Drunk
Parents aren’t always on top of the latest hip teen linguistics, but they should know that if their teen is texting their friends about getting “lit” or “
9. Beat Cake – Engage in Rough Sex
If you happen to see the term “beat cake” in any of your teen’s texts, it’s used to describe having rough sex. Fine for adults, this can be an issue for young, sexually inexperienced teens. Talk to your teen about this behavior and advise them to be safe and consensual, and let them know they can trust you and your advice.
10. Zerg – to Gang Up or Bully on Someone (Usually Online)
The term “zerg” is derived from the classic game Starcraft where enemies would team up against another player in an effort to bully their intended target into submission. If your teen plans to zerg someone, it’s time for you to intervene. Let them know that zerging is a form of cyberbullying and aside from not being tolerated, it can have social and legal ramifications.
There are many other text codes that parents should learn if they want to decipher what their teens are discussing with their friends, partners, and others. At Parentology, we’re trying to build up that list so that everyone stays informed.
Know a word we missed? Curious about a word you’ve seen but don’t understand? Let us know in the comments below and we may post it in a future article.