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Decoding Text Messaging Language of Teens

Texting is a big part of our culture now that we have cell phones and instant messaging applications especially for younger people. Texting often is done in 140 characters or less, similar to Twitter which means we have to shorthand a lot of what we write. Younger people might be the age group sending the most text messages but it is the older people who often need help figuring out what the words mean. Trying to decode a text message can be like trying to decode the Egyptian writings, with odd words and symbols everywhere. As a parent, you need to know what these popular texting words mean in order to keep your child safe and know what they are doing. With an evolving world where text messaging is increasing popularity, being able to understand text message language is important. If you have ever seen a text message and were unfamiliar with the popular shorthand, here are some of those decoded.

AFAIK - as far as I know
ASL - age, sex and location
BF - boyfriend or best friend
BFF - best friend forever
BIL - boss is listening
B4N - bye for now
BTW - by the way
BRB - be right back
BOL - best of luck
BBL - be back later
BBS - be back soon
CUB L8R - call you back later
DH - dear husband
DS - dear sister
DS - dear son
DD- dear daughter
DUR- don't you remember
DK - don't know
F2T - free to talk
FWIW - for what it's worth
FYI - for your information
TMI or 511 - too much information
GAL - get a life
GMTA - great minds think alike
HTH- hope that helps
IIRC - if I recall correctly
IRL - in real life
IMO - in my opinion
IMHO - in my honest opinion
J4F - just for fun
J4K - just for kicks
JK - just kidding
LOL - laughing out loud
LMAO - laughing my ass off
LTNC - long time no see
L8 -late
L8R - later
LYN - someone is lying
MYOB - mind your own business
NE1 - anyone
NRN - no reply necessary
O4U- only for you
PCM - please call me
PLS - please
PRW - parent is watching
QT - cutie
ROFL - rolling on the floor laughing
SC - stay cool or subject change
SOL - sooner or later
SMS - short messaging service such as email or text message
STATS- your gender and age
T+ - think positive
THNQ - thank you
TTYL - talk to you later
UROK - you are okay
W8N - waiting
WRT- with respect to
WUWH - wish you were here

These are just some of the shorthand abbreviations you might encounter in a text message. There are so many more than it is not possible to write them all as new shorthand is written each day. If you are a parent then you really want to keep an eye on your son or daughter and what shorthand they use in their text messages. When you are limited to only 140 characters or less, you become very creative in how to shorthand words and meanings. With so many shorthand text messaging words and symbols out there, it is going to take a while to get used to all of it.

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tinamarie wrote on August 15, 2014, 8:44 AM

Thanks! I get messages all the time from my Adult Children and they use these little acronyms and it drives me crazy!

allen0187 wrote on August 15, 2014, 9:10 AM

Thanks for sharing this info. With all these acronyms and shortened words, I shudder at the thought of how literate or illiterate the next generation will be.