With students having constant access to social media, texting, and the internet, they’ve managed to create a secret code language that hides their mischievous behavior from parents and teachers. Teens and tweens who use code words and secret hashtags feel like they can easily misbehave because their parents aren’t even aware that they are misbehaving. As parents and educators, it’s important that we stay informed on this ever-changing teen slang that is so prominent on social media.
So, we created a comprehensive list of teen slang, social media terms, popular acronyms, secret emoji meanings, and dangerous hashtags that parents and educators need to know.
This guide has been updated to include terms popular with teens in 2020.
To grow up and act responsible.
Short for “baby.” It’s used as a term of endearment for a significant other such as a girlfriend or boyfriend. As an acronym, it stands for “Before Anyone Else."
A non-complimentary way to say someone is only interested in trendy or popular things.
To have a full face of makeup.
Agreeing with someone.
A way to say “very” or “a lot.” It’s added after the verb or adjective.
Rich or Acting rich.
Casual nickname for “bro.”
An expression used to dismiss someone.
To reject someone romantically.
A comeback filled with attitude.
Meaning “really good.”
When someone is euphorically happy.
Down in the DM
Making plans using social media or texts for an oncoming sexual encounter.
Describes over the top or dramatic behavior.
To smooth things out.
Means “going to” or “intend on” doing something.
Finstagram or Finsta
A second Instagram account. Finstagrams are intimate spaces intended for an audience of friends, with the number of followers purposely kept low.
Fire and Straight fire
Something is “really good” or “cool.”
When someone has had one too many compliments and is full of themselves.
Ignoring someone on purpose.
Being inspired, can also be used to express a subtle form of jealousy.
Meaning good or cool.
When you are angry because you are so hungry.
A deep understand of a topic being discussed.
The opposite of "low key" - meaning let everyone know.
When someone complains about their life while sneaking in a brag.
Short for 100% sure or certain.
Equivalent of friend but said with attitude.
Meaning that was funny.
Meaning it’s cool or awesome.
Key or Major Key
Meaning something that is essential or important.
Left me on read
When someone opens your text or private message and doesn’t respond.
A warning that what they’re saying isn’t something they want everyone to know.
Used to express something that is relatable.
Netflix ‘n Chill
To meet under the pretense of watching Netflix/TV together when actually planning to meet for “making out” or sex.
Telling the truth, the equivalent of saying "no lie."
Something that is said to affirm when someone is being put in their place.
Popularized by the game Roblox, oof is the sound a character makes when it dies. It is typically used as a response when you don't really care but should say at least something.
Out of pocket
Something is out of control.
Snubbing someone to pay attention to your phone instead.
Typically used to describe an uncouth individual.
Evidence of a person’s hypocrisy, often pulled from past social media or text conversations.
To be bitter about something or someone.
Meaning it’s cool or awesome.
Short for “relationship.”
Wanting two people to date.
Being confused or in utter disbelief.
To mind your own business.
Sis can be used in multiple ways. If someone asks you what happened and you respond with "Sis," it means there's a whole lot of drama that unfolded and there's a whole lot more to the story. "Sis" can also be used as a term of endearment toward friends or anyone really.
To leave a place.
Meaning someone is succeeding.
Sliding into DMs
Using direct messaging to invite someone to "hook up".
To have casual sex.
A way to describe an attractive individual.
A combination of stalker and fan.
A shortened version of what’s up.
When someone is acting suspicious or shady.
Extremely buff or physically fit.
Gossip or talking behind someone's back.
Looking good in your skin no matter your size or shape.
A flirtatious photograph or message posted on social media.
Being desperate for something often used in place of horny.
To give someone a nasty look or say something unpleasant about them.
Hype for a party.
Shortened form of very.
Exposing someone to reveal the truth.
Highly aware of social issues.
An enthusiastic way of saying yes.
A very strong word for yes.
Get the most up to date list on Popular Teen Slang at SmartSocial.com
Repetitive successive attempts of trying various password combinations to break into someone else's website or account.
When a person creates a fake identity on a social network, usually with the intention of deceiving a specific victim.
Internet content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to a particular web page. Click-bait headlines typically aim to exploit the "curiosity gap", providing just enough information to make readers of news websites curious, but not enough to satisfy their curiosity without clicking through to the linked content.
Blocks of text which get copy and pasted across the Internet by individuals through online forums and social networking websites, to the point of becoming spam.
The fraudulent practice of adding unauthorized charges to a customer's phone bill.
Any form of bullying that takes place using electronic devices. Cyberbullying is repeated and intentional harm towards someone online, on social media, or through texting.
A collection of websites that exist on an encrypted network and cannot be found by using traditional search engines or visited by using traditional browsers. The dark web is full of criminal activity.
DM or PM
"Direct message" or "private message", respectively.
Doxing or Doxxing
Publishing personal or identifying information about a particular individual online, typically with the intent to do harm.
Facetune is a photo editing application used to edit, enhance, and retouch photos on a user’s iPhone, iPad or Android device. The app is often used for portrait and selfie editing. Features allow users to whiten teeth, remove blemishes, smooth skin, reshape, defocus and blur.
In social media, a follow represents a user who chooses to see all of another user's posts in their content feed.
A type of computer file that contains a still or moving image. GIF is the abbreviation for "Graphic Interchange Format."
The action by a pedophile of preparing a child for a meeting, especially via an Internet chat room, with the intention of committing a sexual offense.
A word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications, to identify messages on a specific topic. Typically hashtags are searchable on the platform it was posted on.
A person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media.
Spying on others online while remaining invisible.
Software that is specifically designed to disrupt, damage, or gain unauthorized access to a computer system.
An activity, concept, catchphrase, or piece of media that spreads, often as mimicry or for humorous purposes, from person to person via the Internet. A meme usually takes the form of an image, GIF, or video. It can also be just a word or phrase.
The act of sending emails pretending to be from reputable companies in order to get individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.
A separate area of social networks where only designated users can communicate with one another. Private groups are popular on Facebook.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that holds your personal digital data for ransom. Those affected by ransomware cannot gain access to their personal data without paying a fine. Most ransomware is disguised as a valid file to be downloaded or opened in an email.
Malicious computer programs designed to trick a user into buying and downloading unnecessary and potentially dangerous software, such as fake antivirus protection.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
A marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results.
A self-portrait type image, typically taken with a smartphone which may be held in the hand or supported by a selfie stick.
Using electronic messaging systems to send an unsolicited message, email is the most common platform for spam but it can also be sent via text or on social media.
When a person or program successfully masquerades as another by falsifying data, to gain an illegitimate advantage.
A form of malware that hides on your device, monitors your activity, and steals sensitive information like bank details and passwords.
Typically used to describe a user who chooses to see all of another user's posts in their content feed on YouTube. Subscribe can be used on other social media networks but it's most commonly used when referring to YouTube.
When someone makes a prank call to emergency services in an attempt to dispatch armed police officers to a particular address.
Troll or Trolling
Deliberately using the internet to provoke others. Trolling isn't necessarily focused on insulting others or being rude, it's more about tricking people into believing you or playing pranks.
1174: "Nude club"
1337 and L337: "Elite"
143: "I love you"
182: "I hate you"
459: "I love you"
8: "Oral sex"
AEAP: "As Early As Possible"
AF: "As f***"
ALAP: "As Late As Possible"
AMA: “Ask me anything”, a Q&A style discussion with the author of a post
ASMR: "Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response" meaning something gave you chills.
CCW: “Comments and criticism welcome”
CD9: "Code 9" meaning parents are around
CMV: “Change my view”
DAE: “Does anybody else or does anyone else”
DM;HS: “Doesn’t matter; had sex”
DTF: "Down to f***"– which means I want to have sex OR I would like to join you in the plans you suggested. When used in question form it means, do you think he/she would sleep with me or do you think he/she would want to come with us?
DUM: "Do you masturbate?"
DUSL: "Do you scream loud?"
ELI5: "Explain like I'm 5 (years old)"
F2F: "Face-to-Face" meaning FaceTime
FB: "F*** uddy"
FIFY and FTFY: “Fixed It For You” and "Fixed that for you", respectively.
FMLTWIA: "F*** me like the w**** I am"
FOL: "Fond of leather"
FOMO (Fear of Missing Out): FOMO is when a student (or adult) experiences anxiety that an exciting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often prompted by posts seen on social media.
FWP: “First world problems”
GGG: reference to the “Good Guy Greg” or “Good Girl Gina” meme
GOAT: “Greatest of all time!”
GNOC: “Get naked on camera"
GTFO: “Get the f**k out”
GYPO: "Get your pants off"
HAK: "Hugs and kisses"
HIFW: “How I feel when”
HMB: “Hold my beer”
IAmA: "I am a.” This is the standard way to begin the title of an AMA (Ask me anything) post.
IANAD: "I am not a doctor"
IANAL: "I am not a lawyer"
IAYM: "I am your master"
ICYMI: "In case you missed it"
IDGAF: "I don’t give a f***" – which means I don’t care at all
IF and IB: "In the front" or "In the back", respectively
IMO and IMHO: "In my opinion" and "In my humble/honest opinion", respectively.
IIRC: "If I recall correctly"
ILY and ILU: "I love you"
IRL: “In real life”
ITT: "In this thread"
JOMO: "Joy of missing out"
LOL: “Laugh out loud”
LoL: “League of Legends”, a popular online game.
MRW and MFW: "My reaction when" and "My face when", respectively.
NIFOC: “Naked in front of their computer”
NSFL: "Not safe for life" (explicit and offensive; often gore)
OAG: references the “Overly attached girlfriend” meme
OC: “Original content”, meaning the author of the post created the content shown or linked in the post or "Open crib", meaning no parents will be at home or at a gathering or party.
OG: Meaning “original” or “original gangster”
OP: "Original poster", the author of the post.
PSA: "Public service announcement"
SMH: “shake/shaking my head”
SO: “Significant other”
T: Gossip or talking behind someone's back.
TBH: “To be honest"
TIFU: “Today I f**ked up”
TIL: "Today I learned"
TL;DR: "Too long; Didn't read.” Sometimes used as a synonym for summary.
WIP: “Work in progress"
WYD: "What you doing" – oftens means what are you doing right now
YMMV: “Your mileage may vary”
YSK: "You should know"
"Greatest of all time."
Typically used to symbolize that someone is a "backstabber."
😈 Smiling Face With Horns
In the mood to have a sexual encounter with someone.
Can sometimes mean "I love you."
"Lit", "fire", or "sexy."
💃 Woman Dancing
Expressing the desire to party hard.
🔪 Kitchen Knife
Expression of being in a bad mood or wanting to cause destruction.
💅 Nail Polish
A response that indicates you’re not bothered about something someone said about you.
👯♀️ Women With Bunny Ears
Can mean a girls' night out or as code for "sex worker."
💁♀️ Woman Tipping
Hand Used to express an exasperated “I don’t even know what to think anymore.”
🍆 Eggplant or 🍌 Banana
Male genitalia. Often sent to illustrate the anticipation of a sexual encounter.
Represents a person's behind.
Derogatory term to describe a young person who is easily offended or used to represent cocaine.
👏 Clapping Hands
When used in between every single word in a sentence, it represents a passive aggressive way of emphasizing something that people can’t seem to understand.
🚾 Water Closet
💨 Dashing Away
Can indicate that someone is running so hard they leave a trail of smoke behind them or serves as a symbol for vaping.
🏩 Love Hotel
Represents getting a tattoo.
Has been reported that drug dealers use this to symbolize that they have heroin for sale.
😤 Face With Steam From Nose
Has been reported that drug dealers use this to symbolize that they have MDMA for sale.
🍁 Maple Leaf
Can be used to symbolize cannabis or drugs in general.
Has been reported that drug dealers use this to symbolize that their products have a high potency.
💦 Sweat Droplets
Represents an orgasm.
✊ Raised Fist followed by 💦 Sweat Droplets
Can be used to request that someone send an explicit picture.
🎪 Circus Tent
Represents an erection.
Represents a male orgasm.
📬 Open Mailbox With Raised Flag
Can sometimes mean sex.
😵 Dizzy Face
Having just seen something x-rated.
🙆♀️ Woman Gesturing OK
Represents a female orgasm.
An emoticon that means disapproval. Often used sarcastically.
#cu46: "See you for sex"
#ednos: "Eating disorder not otherwise specified"
#secretsociety123: Non-suicidal self harm
#svv: Self-harming behavior
#thinsp or #thinspo: Thinspiration (content that "inspires" others to be thin)