What Are Your Teens Texting? Decoding Teen Text Slang

The Bark Team | January 19, 2017 | Internet Safety Tips

What Are Your Teens Texting? Decoding Teen Text Slang

Text slang is code children use when communicating digitally, as a shorthand to decrease the amount of time used spent texting. Other times teens use text speak in order to have conversations of a mature nature without their parents, teachers, or guardians knowing the real deal. Understanding and knowing this new form of communication is an important part of digital parenting, as it empowers you to address problematic issues by engaging in open and honest dialogue with your tween or teen. Indeed, some kids may not even understand the meaning of what they are texting as some of these more popular terms make their way into advertising and other media children see.

Ever heard of "Netflix and chill"? It means more than streaming a movie with a buddy. It's actually code for hooking up and making out or having sex. Speak with your kids about problematic text slang with compassion and understanding. Children need to know that if they mess up, you are there to support them and guide them.

Digital parenting is a challenging task, but our goal at Bark’s machine learning algorithms constantly learn from the context in conversations it analyzes. As such, it’s able to identify and adapt to changing slang. A team of leading psychologists has created recommended actions which are sent with our alerts. These recommended actions are also a tool to aid in discussions with your child on these issues. Below are some of the current text codes that teens are using and thankfully, what they mean.

  • Lit/Turnt/Turnt Up - Something that's active or popular, can also refer to being stoned or drunk
  • Juul - A type of e-cigarette that is small and discreet, ‘pods’ are used for smoking
  • Dabbing - Reference to concentrated doses of cannabis; also a dance craze
  • SMH - "Shaking my head," meaning "I don't believe it" or "that's so dumb"
  • KMS/KYS - "kill myself/kill yourself" can be used jokingly or for cyberbullying
  • Netflix and Chill - Getting together and hooking up
  • AF - Short for "as f**k," used to mean "extremely"
  • TF - Short for "the f**k," an expression of disbelief
  • WTF - Short for "what the f**k," meaning "I can't believe that"
  • STFU - Short for "Shut the f**k up," can be used as an expression of disbelief or to cyberbully
  • Snatched - On point, very good, or well styled
  • Thot - Stands for "that hoe over there" and is often used instead of "slut," occasionally used as a misspelling of "thought."
  • fboy or fboi - Shorthand for "F**k boy," meaning a guy that is just looking for sex, used derogatorily as in "slut"
  • Basic - Refers to someone who is viewed as boring or a conforming person
  • 100 emoji- This emoji is used to mean pride or general acceptance of an idea
  •   eggplant emoji  -  The eggplant emoji is used to refer to the penis
  •    peach emoji - The peach emoji is used in sexting, referencing the butt
  •   sweat drops emoji  - The "sweat" emoji is mostly used to mean "ejaculate," often used in conjunction with the tongue emoji Tongue Emojisweat drops emoji

Wow, right? For a more extensive list of teen speak codes, check out our full list on Teen Text Speak Codes Every Parent Should Know. We've combed through our data at Bark to find the most common instances of text speak that teens use and put them here. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us at help@bark.us. We've got your back!

About Bark

Bark is a comprehensive online safety solution that empowers families to monitor content, manage screen time, and filter websites to help protect their kids online. Our mission is to give parents and guardians the tools they need to raise kids in the digital age.