Decoding Texting Slang Your Teen Uses Regularly

I remember a few years ago I was watching a news program and it offered a list to teach parents about decoding texting slang they claimed teens were using. Among some of the more colorful gems were:

  • LHS – Let’s have sex
  • IGTD – I got the drugs
  • PIRDTAS – Parents in rooms don’t talk about stuff
  • SMH – Satan makes me happy

These were so ludicrous that I have never forgotten them. Have you ever seen those used anywhere? Can you imagine your teen doing it? Of course not, it was so out of touch that I was sure it must have been a joke (spoiler: it wasn’t).

Slang is a normal part of communication, especially for young people as they assert their independence. Each generation has their own and in the digital era it is a little different than the “boss” and “sick”’s of our own decades.

Here are some decoded slang terms your teen is probably using … real ones.

  • SMH – This is one you saw above on the list of silly acronyms. It actually is a real one and used all the time, it just has no connection whatsoever to the forces of evil. SMH stands for “shaking my head”. Alternatively, you may see SMDH for “shaking my damn head”.
  • KMS or KYS – These are two slang terms that are important in context. KMS stands for “kill myself”, which may seem alarming. However, it is usually used sarcastically. For example, when you do something embarrassing and say, “I wanted to jump off a bridge” you are not literally saying you want to commit suicide. It is a way of expressing your humiliation. Usually KMS is used in that fashion.
  • KYS is more problematic, as it stands for “kill yourself”. It can be used sarcastically, such as two friends joking using gallows humor. But usually it is used as a form of bullying.
  • Send Nudes – Another one that can really worry parents, this phrase is often used more as a joke than an actual request. It refers to a meme that gained popularity on the now-defunct platform Vine, where people found creative ways to make the words show up. Again, context is important in discerning whether this is lighthearted fun or actual sexting requests.
  • Fam – A reference to ‘family’, used to describe a close social clique. Think of it as saying “the crew” or “the gang”. Your teen may also use “squad”.
  • Netflix and Chill – Getting together to allegedly watch something on Netflix, but actually having sex.
  • Lit – Something that is fresh and cool, the latest thing to become popular.
  • Woke – Aware of social issues or more informed than other people.
  • Thot – Someone who is promiscuous or always looking for a new partner.

More SMS decoding text slang you should know.

  • TIME – Tears In My Eyes
  • JSYK – Just so you know
  • IDC – I don’t care
  • IDK – I don’t know
  • WYD – What Are You Doing
  • BTW – By The Way
  • ROFL or ROTFL – Rolling On The Floor Laughing
  • IMO – In My Opinion
  • TBH – To be honest

Online Culture Shock

We all want to protect our kids but might not know how. The internet has expanded so far beyond what it once was and you may be feeling overwhelmed. Just remember to encourage your teen to be responsible, empathetic and careful about what they say online.

Always looking out for you,
Tyler

Tyler Clark is a proud father, husband, writer and outreach specialist with experience helping parents and organizations that help troubled teen boys. Tyler has focused on helping through honest advice and humor on: modern day parenting, struggles in school, the impact of social media, addiction, mental disorders, and issues facing teenagers now.

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