Decoding the Language of Text

IMO, it seems like every week there is a new “newest” and must-have phone, tablet or technological gizmo on the market. Speed and convenience have grown in importance, and the language associated with these new communication tools is rapidly evolving, for better or worse. Emails, texts, tweets and posts are all riddled with abbreviations words that serve as quick ways to share. Teens are typically the ones who develop and stay most up-to-date on this electronic slang, and as a parent it can feel like you’ve traveled to a planet where hieroglyphics are the norm, which is TWFW. Fear not, you no longer have to be 404 – you can be text-language savvy, too! Read on to decode some common abbreviations and better understand your teen:

AYT – Are you there? (I need to tell you something ASAP!)

PAW – Parents are watching (Don’t send me anything that could get me into trouble!)

4YEO – For your eyes only (Yep, because texts always stay private…)

*vin – Starving (THIS one is creative!)

143 – I Love You (1 letter, 4 letters, 3 letters)

IMO – In my opinion

MYOB – Mind your own business

NMJC – Not much, just chillin’

TWFW – Too weird for words (Probably referring to you, Mom and Dad…)

WRU – Where are you?

BTDT – Been there, done that

404 – Someone is clueless or doesn’t get it

IKT – I knew that

HHOK – Ha ha only kidding (Except that I probably wasn’t kidding, until you got upset with me…)

HRU – How are you?

Staying on top of the newest trends in order to understand and protect your teen can feel like a full-time job, so you can check out the link below to decode specific abbreviations and make your job as a parent a tiny bit easier. Before you know it, you’ll be texting your teen IKT, BTDT, 143!

Link of the week:TEEN-CHAT-DECODER


About Dr. Chaitra Wirta-Leiker

Dr. Chaitra Wirta-Leiker is an adoptee, adoptive parent, and psychologist who provides mental health support focused on adoption, trauma, and racial identity work. She is the author of the "Adoptees Like Me" book series.