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 trending 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. WYA- Where You At?
An acronym for “Where you at?”
IN A TEXT: I’m by your car, wya?
4. 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.
5. TBH – To Be Honest
An acronym for “to be honest.” Usually used after the phrase, “Can’t relate.” Used together, this phrase makes an event less severe since the speaker can’t relate to it.
IN A TEXT: Your dog died? Can’t relate tbh.
6. 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.
7. RN – Right Now
An acronym for “right now.”
IN A TEXT: I can’t go to the party, I’m busy rn.
8. 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.”
9. 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.
10. 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”.
11. 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 “
Here are 10 reasons why your teen may be using drugs. You may also see text codes for popular drugs – something as simple as “beans” may be a code for something more dangerous.
Keep reading for text codes for common drugs.
12. Kush/Flower – Marijuana
You’re probably already familiar with this one: marijuana. There are dozens of drug slang terms out there, but some are a lot more popular with the younger generation. “Pot” is out of date — teens are more likely to be texting about “kush,” “flower,” and “bud.”
Example: “hey can i pick up some flower tomorrow?”
13. Nic/Device – Nicotine/E-Cigarette
With the recent rise in teen nicotine use, these terms are common. Nicotine is usually shortened to “nic,” and vaporized (“vaped” or “hit”) out of an electronic cigarette — referred to as a “device.” These devices include the popular, easy hidden JUUL and several other e-cigarette brands, like Suorin and PHIX.
Example: “just bought a new device… i need nic lol”
14. Domed/Headed – Nicotine Head Rush
These terms go along with nicotine devices. The effects of e-cigarettes are usually described as a fast-acting head rush, sometimes referred to as a “dome” (due to the way it makes your “dome” feel).
Example: “i took too many hits, i’m so domed right now”
15. Faded/Cooked – High
These slang words describe the feelings produced by smoking marijuana, not nicotine. Yes, “high” still works, but teens are more likely these days to get more creative with the lingo.
Example: “let’s get some food, i’m faded”
16. Addy/Study Buddy – Adderall
More common for college students and older high-schoolers, Adderall is a popular study drug. Some students are prescribed Adderall or Vyvanse for ADHD, and a few of those will sell a few of their supply to friends. You’re more likely to see your teen texting about “addy” the night before a big test, or the day an essay is due.
Example: “do you have any addy? i’m not ready for the chemistry final”
17. Beans/Bars/Xannies – Xanax
Xanax is another drug that’s prescribed to some teens and adults, but is often abused. While the sedatives are appropriate for diagnosed anxiety, some young people experiment with them at parties, combining the pills with alcohol. This is very dangerous, and could seriously harm your teen’s health, or put their life at risk. Keep an eye out for the words “xannies” “beans” and “bars.”
Example: “he took a bean last night, probably doesn’t remember anything”
18. Drank/Sizzurp – Codeine
These slang terms are used to talk about codeine, a strong narcotic used to treat pain and coughs. It’s usually in the form of cough syrup, which is where “sizzurp” came from. When codeine is taken recreationally, which is illegal, it’s often poured into a bottle of soda. The combination is called “drank” or “purple drank.”
Example: “want to pour up some drank? i got sizzurp”
19. Yay/Blow/Snow – Cocaine
Cocaine is expensive and generally less accessible for teens, but it’s still possible to find, and common on college campuses. It’s the second most frequently used illegal drug globally, after cannabis. If your teen is texting about “yay” “blow” or “snow,” they might be looking for this stimulant. Be aware — it’s incredibly addictive and harmful, especially when mixed with alcohol.
Example: “we got yay for the party, want some?”
20. X/E – MDMA
“X” or “E” stands for ecstasy, otherwise known as “molly” or MDMA. This is another rare drug, but it’s also popular for music festivals and on college campuses. The psychoactive substance lasts 3 to 6 hours, increasing heart rate, sexual arousal, and energy levels. It’s dangerous for a teen’s developing brain even after one use.
Example: “are you going to the concert on Saturday? I’m getting E”
21. Spice/K2 = Synthetic Cannabis
“Spice” or “K2” are nicknames for synthetic marijuana. The fake substance is much more harmful than actual cannabis — the effects can be similar but are much more likely to be life-threatening. It’s likely that a teen won’t know their cannabis is synthetic, so even if they have experimented with marijuana, it’s important to learn the difference between the real and fake substances. No one has ever died from cannabis use, but hundreds have overdosed from K2 in just the last year.
Example: “this weed doesn’t feel right… i think it might be spice”
Now that we caught you up on the slang your teen may be using for drugs, let’s get back to other text codes.
22. 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.
23. Finsta – Secondary Instagram account
A “finsta” is a second Instagram account used for sharing with a smaller circle of friends and followers. This account is sometimes kept a secret from parents. Kids usually post info that is secretive from their public profile.
The account can be used for something as harmless as sharing memes with a smaller circle of followers, or something more inappropriate where teens can posts freely without their parents’ knowledge.
24. 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’s no technical definition. It’s used when something bad happens and you don’t know how to respond. It’s like you’ve been punched in the gut and you’re exhaling a bunch of air.
IN A TEXT: Her dog died. Oof!
No actual definition. It’s a term to express excitement, approval, or surprise, usually when someone throws something from far away or if they do a killer dance move.
IN A TEXT: Did you see him throw that apple core into the trash can? Yeet!
FUN FACT: Dictionary.com says that “yeet” is an organic interjection that sounds similar to exclamations like “Yes!” or “Aight!” The website notes, “The term [spread] as a dance in black social media culture in February 2014. Several people are credited for the dance, including YouTuber Milik Fullilove, who calls out Yeet! as he does his moves with personal flourishes.”
27. No Cap – Not Lying
IN A TEXT: I swear I kissed her, no cap.
FUN FACT: According to Dictionary.com, “to cap” originated as black slang meaning “to brag,” “to exaggerate,” or “to lie” about something. So, “no cap” is another way of saying, “no lie.”
28. I Can’t Even
When someone has had enough of someone, something, or a situation and they can’t believe it / take it any longer. It can be used negatively or positively depending on the context.
NEGATIVE TEXT: This whole week has been terrible, I can’t even.
POSITIVE TEXT: I can’t even with you two. You’re so cute!
29. I’m Weak
When someone is laughing at something so hard it wipes them out.
IN A TEXT: That was so funny, I’m weak!
30. I’m Dead
Like with “Ima kms,” it’s usually not that dramatic. (And, if they really were dead, you wouldn’t be reading the text.) Review the context of the whole message before panicking. This is just another version of “I’m weak.”
IN A TEXT: That was so funny, I’m dead.
Not all text codes are hiding something more dangerous. You don’t need to start worrying the moment you see your teen using a term you have no idea about it, but it’s important to stay informed so you can take action if need be.
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.