The 28 texting acronyms every parent should know

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– Editor’s note: Written by Kelly Wallace, CNN’s digital correspondent and editor-at-large covering family, career and life. She is a mom of two girls. 

If you think you are tech savvy all because you know what “LOL” means, you might want to test your coolness.

Any idea what “IWSN” stands for in Internet slang?

It’s a declarative statement: I want sex now.

If it makes you feel any better, many parents didn’t know what it meant.

Acronyms are widely popular across the Internet, especially on social media and texting apps, because, in some cases, they offer a shorthand for communication that is meant to be instant.

So “LMK” — let me know — and “WYCM” — will you call me? — are innocent enough.

But the issue, especially for parents, is understanding the slang that could signal some dangerous teen behavior, such as “GNOC,'” which means “get naked on camera.”

And it certainly helps for a parent to know that “PIR” means parent in room, which could mean the teen wants to have a conversation about things his or her mom and dad might not approve of.

Katie Greer is a national Internet safety expert who has provided Internet and technology safety training to schools, law enforcement agencies and community organizations throughout the country for more than seven years.

She says research shows that a majority of teens believe that their parents are starting to keep tabs on their online and social media lives.

“With that, acronyms can be used by kids to hide certain parts of their conversations from attentive parents,” Greer said. “Acronyms used for this purpose could potentially raise some red flags for parents.”

But parents would drive themselves crazy, she said, if they tried to decode every text, email and post they see their teen sending or receiving.

“I’ve seen some before and it’s like ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ where only the kids hold the true meanings (and most of the time they’re fairly innocuous),” she said.

Still, if parents come across any acronyms they believe could be problematic, they should talk with their kids about them, said Greer.

But how, on earth, is a parent to keep up with all these acronyms, especially since new ones are being introduced every day?

“It’s a lot to keep track of,” Greer said. Parents can always do a Google search if they stumble upon an phrase they aren’t familiar with, but the other option is asking their children, since these phrases can have different meanings for different people.

“Asking kids not only gives you great information, but it shows that you’re paying attention and sparks the conversation around their online behaviors, which is imperative.”

Micky Morrison, a mom of two in Islamorada, Florida, said she finds Internet acronyms “baffling, annoying and hilarious at the same time.”

She’s none too pleased that acronyms like “LOL” and “OMG” are being adopted into conversation, and already told her 12-year-old son — whom she jokingly calls “deprived,” since he does not have a phone yet — that acronym talk is not allowed in her presence.

But the issue really came to a head when her son and his adolescent friends got together and were all “ignoring one another with noses in their phones,” Morrison said, founder of BabyWeightTV.

“I announced my invention of a new acronym: ‘PYFPD.’ Put your freaking phone down.”

LOL!

But back to the serious issue at hand, below are 28 Internet acronyms learned from concerned parents as well as from sites such as NoSlang.com and NetLingo.com, and from Cool Mom Tech’s 99 acronyms and phrases that every parent should know.

After you read this list, you’ll likely start looking at your teen’s texts in a whole new way.

1. IWSN – I want sex now

2. GNOC – Get naked on camera

3. NIFOC – Naked in front of computer

4. PIR – Parent in room

5 CU46 – See you for sex

6. 53X – Sex

7. 9 – Parent watching

8. 99 – Parent gone

9. 1174′ – Party meeting place

10. THOT – That hoe over there

11. CID – Acid (the drug)

12. Broken – Hungover from alcohol

13. 420 – Marijuana

14. POS – Parent over shoulder

15. SUGARPIC – Suggestive or erotic photo

16. KOTL – Kiss on the lips

17. (L)MIRL – Let’s meet in real life

18. PRON – Porn

19. TDTM – Talk dirty to me

20. 8 – Oral sex

21. CD9 – Parents around/Code 9

22. IPN – I’m posting naked

23. LH6 – Let’s have sex

24. WTTP – Want to trade pictures?

25. DOC – Drug of choice

26. TWD – Texting while driving

27. GYPO – Get your pants off

28. KPC- Keeping parents clueless

33 comments

  • BOB

    And they wonder why some kids have such a low opinion of themselves. Taking the path less traveled isn’t easy, and the kids who take it miss out on all the fun associated with unwanted pregnancies and the various STDs that penicillin can’t cure.

  • savana

    Yeah the only acronym there I have ever, ever heard of is Parent Over Shoulder. And even that one is a stretch. Sorry parents, if your looking to decode your teen then look onward. This article is a joke.

  • Grace Dickerson

    As a teenager, I’ll tell you right now, none of these are real things. Someone just made a bunch of weird stuff up. Iwsn? Really?

  • Theresa Easley

    It looks like quite a few teens are commenting and saying these aren’t real. Yeah, like we’re really going to believe you guys.

    • Alexander Oaks

      Believe what you want but these are never used… How would you know anyways? You’re probably some 40 year old, technology-illiterate, over protective, parent who is scared to death of your kids sexting. Honestly look through any realistic conversation between two teenagers over text and you will not find any of these used, except for thot. 😂😂😂

    • Lindsey

      Well Theresa I have something to say to you. It’s adults like you that ruin the earth not the teens. I’m just wondering why don’t you trust us some of the teens who actually read Fox News are very educated and clearly you should learn from us. I respect your opinion but why would you not trust us? Just because you hear of us sneaky teens getting stuff past our parents doesn’t mean it’s true. Also you have what, one article saying these are true but you have 15 teens saying the arent, you shouldn’t believe everything you read. You know what’s wrong with this world, not sneaky teens, it’s that adult don’t trust us, we are treated like children and expected to act as adults. And remember you were a sneaky teen to Theresa

  • Mark

    To be completely honest, as a late teen I have not used a single one of those “acronyms” nor have I ever seen them used. This article is a joke, if parents actually smother their child enough to force them to use these then they are better off in Auschwitz.

  • Christopher

    i am a teenager and i have only heard Thot these other ones are ridiculous and probably made up like that last one
    KPC like really that doesn’t even … just wow

  • nikki

    Although im not a teenager anymore,(im 22) ive got 2 teenage sisters and 3 teenage brothers. We are all pretty close and not one of them has heard of these. I dont know what they are either. This article is ridiculous.

    • bob

      Some of them are legit, and obvious. “THOT” is black street slang, but I’m sure it ends up in texts too. It’s an acronym.

      A lot of these are simply made up by the author. Or they’re something a few kids have used.

      Google “Cockney Rhyming Slang.” This isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s centuries old.

      • James

        I hope you recognize the severity of racist thinking not only embedded in that comment, but in the way it seems your brain works. Black street slang? You need help, sir.

  • Tim

    I’m in my mid twenties, and I’ve actually seen a few of these. The culture really started with the release of chat rooms and AIM (aol instant messenger). The fact that it’s spilled over into texting isn’t surprising. The issue with internet acronyms is that they’re hardly universal. There’s no dictionary out there for kids to learn these things; most are developed between two friends or a group if friends. I don’t think The point of this article is for parents to memorize a list of acronyms, but for them to realize that this form of communication exists and to approach their kids regarding issues they rightfully should know about.

    • lazerusshade

      Here is the thing about these types of “codes”…they are mostly specific to region.

      So…if you are a kid who “never uses them” or a parent who “has never heard of them.” Then you just live in an area where these are not used. Others might be that basically mean the same thing.

      A few I recognize…most I dont. So at best guess this list is from some where in the western US.

      At best this article gives one good point….talking to your kids about their online behavior is important. Like drugs…drinking…or any other risky behavior. Talking about it with them is the best first step you can make.

  • Isaiah

    This is definitely the dumbest thing i’ee ever read. I was born into this “generation” and never have i even heard of 95% of these acronyms. Write an article on something that is actually truthful & important, quit blowing things out of proportion. That’s all you journalist’s do nowadays. The media is ridiculous. SMH.

  • bob

    When i was a teen it was all about “devil worship” and “subliminal messages” that were “backwards-masked” on records. We all knew how silly and paranoid it was.

    Parents never change. Your kids are reading this and LOL at you. I’m kinda ROFLMAO too, actually.

    It’s called PASSING NOTES. We all did it. Kids were hooking up 30 years ago. Kids were scoring drugs 30 years ago. How did they manage it without communicating? They were exchanging pics, too. Doesn’t anybody remember Polaroid?

    Those who did, did. Those who didn’t, didn’t. And today, as then, most don’t.

  • Ashley Ann

    This article is the most moronic thing I have ever read. I’m 16 and the only acronym I’ve even heard of from this whole list is ‘thot’. And I learned that from vine. Complete b.s. the while article.

  • Jacob

    As a middle teen, I can testify these don’t exist. This article is a fake, deploying an excellent hook to make you read it. if you as a parent are coming here you should really get to know and trust your teen better.

  • John

    These are almost all from MMORPGs and Omegle and other stuff like that. Barely any of these actually come from texting.

  • lazerusshade

    Here is the thing about these types of “codes”…they are mostly specific to region.

    So…if you are a kid who “never uses them” or a parent who “has never heard of them.” Then you just live in an area where these are not used. Others might be that basically mean the same thing.

    A few I recognize…most I dont. So at best guess this list is from some where in the western US.

    At best this article gives one good point….talking to your kids about their online behavior is important. Like drugs…drinking…or any other risky behavior. Talking about it with them is the best first step you can make.

  • Sara Ling

    This is hilarious because I am a 17 year old girl and myslef and my whole 1st 2nd and 5th periods have not heard of any of these (except for 420 everyone knows 420)

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