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Secret language kids are using

Think about this: Kids today have never known life without the internet, haven’t lived without a cell phone, and have replaced passing notes in class with texting.  It’s a part of life that many parents and grandparents are still trying to catch up to.

But one thing hasn’t changed, trying to outsmart parents and grandparents.  Decades ago, that came in the form of code words or code language that only you and your friends understood (although I bet your parents were onto you anyway).

Technology has made it a little more difficult for parents to “break the code”, and teens are getting crafty with acronyms and “code” words.  Some of them are harmless, others are offensive, and some could be downright dangerous. So it’s important for you to understand what your teens are talking about.

What exactly is teen slang?

When it comes to teen slang, you can pretty much break it all up into different categories. There is overall slang, which covers a lot, as well as specialized slang for things like relationships and everything that happens online.

It can all be confusing and even cringe-inducing, but it is a way of life and communication for the younger generation and therefore it would behoove us all to know what it means.

With that in mind, here is a breakdown.


There is a general theme when it comes to slang for teen relationships, and chances are you can guess what it is.  These are ones you need to watch for and talk to your kids about, especially the ones looking for suggestive photos.

53X = Sex

A/S/L = Age, sex and location

Bae = “Before Anyone Else”

IWSN = I want sex now

Curve = To reject someone

Dime = Attractive person (a perfect 10)

Netflix and Chill = Sex

Sugarpic = Erotic or suggestive picture

NIFOC = Naked in Front of Computer

General terms

Of course, teens have a way to alert friends when parents are around, you know they’re all abut having privacy.  But some of the next terms can also be dangerous and hiding messaging about drugs.

9 = Parents around

99 = Parents are gone

Basic = Plain

DOC = Drug of Choice

GOAT = Greatest Of All Time

Cyph = Smoke marijuana

Throw shade = Talk trash to someone

PIR = Parent in the Room

POS = Parent Over Shoulder

1174 = Place to meet for a party

Social media terms

Much of the adapted ways of communication exist because of social media, so it should come as little surprise that there are shortened terms specifically related to online occurrences.

Dox = Unearth and publish a person’s information such as name, phone number, address, etc.

Subtweet = To tweet about someone, usually negatively, without naming or tagging them.

Cook Session = When a group of kids gang up on another kid via social media.

TBH = To Be Honest

TBN = To Be Negative

Making sense of it all

Much of this may seem confusing, if not frustrating, as you read through it. Add to that, the fact that it changes constantly and you need to continuously be “in the know”.  But knowledge is power, right?

Every generation has its own set of slang and unique terms that are not really meant to be understood by those who came before them. The important thing is to be able to distinguish what’s just teens being teens, and what’s potentially dangerous.

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