How to Decode the Slang Your Teen Uses Online

By on Jun 04, 2013

No, you haven’t entered the Twilight Zone. The teen slang and texting acronyms really are changing that fast. Slang is part of growing up and naturally emerges as a distinguishing mark of teens. But in today’s digital hangouts—where pictures, posts, and videos go viral with a click, slang is amplified. While some of the acronyms, phrases, and slang are funny and even clever, some terms have become online codes designed to keep parents in the dark.

Here’s the latest in online speak you may see in your teens texts, posts, or tweets:

YRIK: This stands for Yeah, Right, I Know. This simply means, “I’m in agreement with you.”

YOLO: This is an acronym for You Only Live Once. Sounds inspiring at first glance but YOLO is a term used for an unwise decision—or an excuse for an unwise decision—such as cutting class.

Dougie: The term “dougie” comes from the name of 80s early 90s Hip Hopper Doug-E-Fresh. It means to have a cool or hip style. It’s also a kind of dance.

Swag: Swag, or swagger, refers to a person’s style, coolness, and confidence.

TMS: Too Much Swag. This is a compliment and means someone is exceptional in the swag department.

TBH: To Be Honest

YW: You’re Welcome

IGS: I Guess So

Born Stunna: Someone born with a lot of material things and flaunts it.

Fo’ Shizzle: A fun term that means ‘for sure!’

Inked Up: This means to have tattoos.

Off the Chain: Something that’s really, really fun such as a party.

NOOB: A noob is someone who is on the outside looking in when it comes to pop culture, tech terms, or any kind of current trend.

Screepy: This word is a blend of “Scary” and “Creepy.”

EPIC FAIL: There’s a fail, which is a just that—something that went wrong. Then there’s the Epic Fail, which is a fail of huge proportions.

BRB:  Be Right Back

SMH: Shaking My Head

POD: Passed out Drunk

4YEO: For Your Eyes Only (usually a sexting term).

MOS: Mom Over Shoulder; PRW: Parents Are Watching or PIR: Parents In Room

LMIRL: Lets Meet In Real Life

TDTM: Talk Dirty To Me

HATER: A hater is someone who expresses anger or jealously towards another person or group. A hater online may intentionally (and often anonymously) post, comment, and share inappropriate content with the goal of creating viral dissention and divide.

Volumes of online slang, phrases, and acronyms exist and new ones emerge every minute. Here are a few online slang tools you can use to decode and stay in the loop.

What’s a word (or two) your kids use that has you scratching your head?

About the Author

Toni Birdsong

Toni Birdsong is a Family Safety Evangelist for McAfee. She is an author, speaker, and cyber savvy mom of two teenagers (much to their dismay). As a family safety evangelist for McAfee, she focuses on online safety and often speaks to educators, parents, and teens about dodging the dangers online. She is the co-owner of ...

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Categories: Family Safety

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