28 Internet acronyms every parent should know

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 Editor’s note: Kelly Wallace is CNN’s digital correspondent and editor-at-large covering family, career and life. She is a mom of two girls. Read her other columns on digital life and follow her reports at CNN Parents and on Twitter.
(CNN) — If you think you are tech savvy all because you know what “LOL” means, let me test your coolness.

Any idea what “IWSN” stands for in Internet slang?

It’s a declarative statement: I want sex now.

If it makes you feel any better, I had no clue, and neither did a number of women I asked about it.

Acronyms are widely popular across the Internet, especially on social media and texting apps, because, in some cases, they offer a shorthand for communication that is meant to be instant.

So “LMK” — let me know — and “WYCM” — will you call me? — are innocent enough.

But the issue, especially for parents, is understanding the slang that could signal some dangerous teen behavior, such as “GNOC,'” which means “get naked on camera.”

And it certainly helps for a parent to know that “PIR” means parent in room, which could mean the teen wants to have a conversation about things that his or her mom and dad might not approve of.

Katie Greer is a national Internet safety expert who has provided Internet and technology safety training to schools, law enforcement agencies and community organizations throughout the country for more than seven years.

She says research shows that a majority of teens believe that their parents are starting to keep tabs on their online and social media lives.

“With that, acronyms can be used by kids to hide certain parts of their conversations from attentive parents,” Greer said. “Acronyms used for this purpose could potentially raise some red flags for parents.”

But parents would drive themselves crazy, she said, if they tried to decode every text, email and post they see their teen sending or receiving.

“I’ve seen some before and it’s like ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ where only the kids hold the true meanings (and most of the time they’re fairly innocuous),” she said.

Still, if parents come across any acronyms they believe could be problematic, they should talk with their kids about them, said Greer.

But how, on earth, is a parent to keep up with all these acronyms, especially since new ones are being introduced every day?

“It’s a lot to keep track of,” Greer said. Parents can always do a Google search if they stumble upon an phrase they aren’t familiar with, but the other option is asking their children, since these phrases can have different meanings for different people.

“Asking kids not only gives you great information, but it shows that you’re paying attention and sparks the conversation around their online behaviors, which is imperative.”

Micky Morrison, a mom of two in Islamorada, Florida, says she finds Internet acronyms “baffling, annoying and hilarious at the same time.”

She’s none too pleased that acronyms like “LOL” and “OMG” are being adopted into conversation, and already told her 12-year-old son — whom she jokingly calls “deprived,” since he does not have a phone yet — that acronym talk is not allowed in her presence.

But the issue really came to a head when her son and his adolescent friends got together and were all “ignoring one another with noses in their phones,” said Morrison, founder of BabyWeightTV.

“I announced my invention of a new acronym: ‘PYFPD.’ Put your freaking phone down.”


But back to the serious issue at hand, below are 28 Internet acronyms, which I learned from Greer and other parents I talked with, as well as from sites such as NoSlang.com and NetLingo.com, and from Cool Mom Tech’s 99 acronyms and phrases that every parent should know.

After you read this list, you’ll likely start looking at your teen’s texts in a whole new way.

1. IWSN – I want sex now

2. GNOC – Get naked on camera

3. NIFOC – Naked in front of computer

4. PIR – Parent in room

5 CU46 – See you for sex

6. 53X – Sex

7. 9 – Parent watching

8. 99 – Parent gone

9. 1174′ – Party meeting place

10. THOT – That hoe over there

11. CID – Acid (the drug)

12. Broken – Hungover from alcohol

13. 420 – Marijuana

14. POS – Parent over shoulder

15. SUGARPIC – Suggestive or erotic photo

16. KOTL – Kiss on the lips

17. (L)MIRL – Let’s meet in real life

18. PRON – Porn

19. TDTM – Talk dirty to me

20. 8 – Oral sex

21. CD9 – Parents around/Code 9

22. IPN – I’m posting naked

23. LH6 – Let’s have sex

24. WTTP – Want to trade pictures?

25. DOC – Drug of choice

26. TWD – Texting while driving

27. GYPO – Get your pants off

28. KPC- Keeping parents clueless

Know any other Internet acronyms parents should learn about? Tell Kelly Wallace on Twitter or CNN Living on Facebook.

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  • ayy lmao

    I’m a teenager who texts other teenagers who use many text acronyms.

    I am positive a good amount of the ones listed are made up for this article.

  • gamerrrgrrrl

    Pretty sure only two or three of those are real. Most of my free time is spent online gaming, and I’ve never seen those there, nor has my 17 year old son.

  • Andrea

    The absolute ridiculousness of this… Surely the media has better things to do than to play on the paranoia of parents who fail to understand their teenagers. Maybe the current rape culture, perhaps? Or the ludicruous prevalence of sexual harassment? Try and analyze of legitimate importance to concerned parents next time. To the parents, please exercise some level of discernment when reading these. The only one I have ever heard of being used in conversation is THOT.

  • Allan Freedman

    All of the above are NOT acronyms, but ARE abbreviations. Acronyms are a group of letters that will spell out another “word” and can be spoken as a word. An example would be NASA. The above examples don’t even come close. They are simply abbreviations.

  • F-H

    1 – Fake, nobody uses this.
    2- Nobody uses this.
    3- Again, not in use. Never existed.
    4- nobody uses this. there’s not even a need for it.
    6-what is this, the 80s? We have to spell shit with words again? Not a thing.
    7- WHY would it be a 9? Who could ever deduce that such an inconspicuous, extremely common character, has a hidden despicable meaning to keep the parental figures in the dark of their devious children’s agenda?
    8- See above.
    9-Wait a parent is here? No? This is only the 9th entry in this shill? I guess you understand the validity of this entry, then.
    10- No. There’s clearly not even a use for this.
    11- Like the kids have money for acid, come on. Shit ain’t cheap. And it’s 1 char., it won’t change a thing. And it’s not an acronym either (like many of the entries so far).
    12- god no, how bloody stupid are you? I’ve never heard anyone say or use “broken” in that sense. I have heard “trashed” and “wrecked” though, so maybe you were going with that? Considering previous entries, I doubt it.
    13- Clearly. Probably the only legitimate entry in this list. Though, it isn’t an acronym.
    14- No, POS=piece of shit. Been that way for 40 years, and we’ve not changed it. It’s interchangeable, though.
    15- Seems a lot more work than just typing “nudes”. I don’t think by this point you need me to tell you how obviously fake these are?
    16- What’s KOTP then?
    17- I’ve never seen the “LM” part. And usually most people just type it out, since spending 3 minutes to explain an obscure abbreviation negates the time you spent typing it.
    18- I don’t see how this makes the list. Or why it even matters. Anybody that can read should instantly understand what this is, too. It’s not used though, because it’s just as easy to type “porn”. Besides, why would a teenager even be typing “porn”, aside to berate a worthless article over the Internet written by a team of lusting soccer moms most likely being paid infinitely too much for this garbage.
    19- Never heard of it.
    20- Refer to No.8. No, not that 8, the other 8. Yes, above 9! No, there’s not a 9! See how ridiculous that is?
    21- Who says this? And if parents aren’t around, why even bother using this slang?
    22- Why would they not just send nudes?
    23- If only the writer’s were texted this more often, we wouldn’t be disgraced with their lousy writing.
    24- Sure, after 10 minutes of deciphering this worthless text. Kids don’t ask. They just do.
    25- Their “drug of choice”, if they have one, is whatever is lying around, since that’s probably what their friends are doing, too.
    26- fine fine this one makes sense, but shouldn’t you be more worried not with learning this text, and instead calling your disobedient hellspawn and tell them to get off the road? Compare the time your kid left the house with the time the text was sent. Bam! Done. Don’t need this. Besides that, it’s not like it’s even beneficial to you to know this anyway, as the damage has already been done. You won’t be reversing time.
    27- Who would text this? What’s the point of this? Why would they need their pants off if I’m at a distance that I have to text them? Again, not in use.
    28- It’s far more likely a misspelling of KFC, as this doesn’t exist. Apparently, you’ve already proven that parents are clueless, if you’re any indication.

    This article is a waste of anyone’s time, and I regret that I couldn’t have laced my words with more venom at how oblivious this author is. Not only is this simply here to show as another article for the site, but it can destroy families with how some real, innocent acronyms and characters being misconstrued as something sinister. While I doubt that could happen, there are more important subjects for a parent to attend to. For instance, many parents don’t even know their child’s clique and their friends – Simply knowing that can tell you a lot of what path your child is on. People deny it as much as they want, but peer pressure exists; the power of impression is strong. It won’t happen overnight, but you’ll wake one day to see little Sally standing on the corner bumming for rocks because she inadvertently chose to get caught with some bad eggs.

    Because instead of spending time with little Sally, her parents chose to spend all their time reading a crackpot’s article on abbreviations of (fake) texting lingo.

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