Teen Slang and Acronyms

Parents have often confessed they think their teens are from another planet, and that stereotype might be reinforced by the fact that teens seem to be speaking another language. Between the slang they use in their conversations and the acronyms they use in their texting, understanding teenagers has risen to a whole new art form.

Although slang has always been part of teen culture, acronyms have developed out of necessity to deal with technology. Research shows that the average teen juggles between three and five chat sessions at any one time on the computer. On the cell phone, the character limit of text messages (160 characters) demands brevity.

Although sometimes it feels easier to live in the dark rather than try to understand teenspeak, we encourage you not to give up. Research shows that one in four kids use such lingo daily to warn their chat friends of prying eyes. There are online resources available to you. In particular, www.teenchatdecoder.com is an excellent guide for figuring out slang and acronyms.  Below is a list of common slang and acronyms:

Teen-favored acronyms

A/S/L – age, sex, location

BF – boyfriend

B4N – bye for now

GF – girlfriend

BRB – be right back

CD9 – Code 9; means parents are around

G2G – got to go

IDK – I don’t know

KPC – keep parents clueless

(L)MIRL – (Let’s) meet in real life (used in chat rooms)

LOL – laugh out loud

MOS – mom over shoulder

NMU – not much, you?

P911 – parent emergency

PAW (or PRW) – parents are watching

PIR – parent in room

POS – parent over shoulder

PRON – porn

S2R – send to receive (pictures)

TDTM – talk dirty to me

TTYL – talk to you later

X – referring to the drug ‘ecstasy’

Warez – pirated software

W/E – whatever


  • All That and a Bag of Chips means someone is handsome or beautiful.
  • Boost is stealing.
  • Butter means something is really good.
  • Flash! is exclaimed by today’s youth as a shortened version of “New’s Flash!” which in layman’s terms means, “You just said something really obvious and stupid.”
  • Tripping is used to describe anyone who is acting crazy, stupidly, or without good judgment. Don’t panic, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything related to drugs. But the following terms are drug-related:
  • Baked means someone is on drugs.
  • Co-pilot is a person’s friend who has agreed to stay sober and hallucinogenic-free while another youth takes LSD or any other kind of narcotic.
  • Guide is a dealer or experienced drug user who may be teaching your teen or another young person their first moves and steps into the drug world.

Stay Connected

As a parent you must stay aware of these trends to keep your teen safe. You cannot rest with the simple list above because teens are always changing their acronyms as more and more adults learn their codes. Visit websites that translate the most common acronyms and keep lines of communication open with your teen. Ask questions and let them know you are paying attention.

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