Text Talk: A Parents’ Guide

The language of teenagers is always a bit of a mystery. Every generation of parents is bewildered by the vocabulary young people use when conversing with each other. Teenagers these days, though, are doing a lot of communication in writing – something we (the old folk) certainly weren’t doing at that age.

As a result, there has evolved a kind of sub-language – a code that’s not exactly secret, but all the same, a mystery to those who aren’t part of the teen scene. It’s text talk.


Fortify247 does not condone peeking, snooping, sneaking, spying, or prying. We are not in favour of reading other people’s diaries, emails, and text messages. In fact, over the years, we have written at length on the subject of data privacy and cybersecurity.

However, in the interests of keeping the children of Britain safe, there must be a caveat to our ideology. So, if you ever feel the need to find out what your little angels are up to, please do refer to this long (albeit incomplete) list of acronyms and slang when deciphering your children’s text messages.


Here are some text talk acronyms of up to four letters:

AF as f**k

GTG              got to go

ISO                in search of

ASL                age, sex, location

FOMO           fear of missing out

FWB              friends with benefits

GOAT            greatest of all time

NP                 no problem

OMG              oh my god

OMFG            oh my f**king god

STFU              shut the f**k up

TBH                to be honest

V                     very

WYA              where you at?

WYD              what you doing?

BFN                bye for now

Some text-talk acronyms are longer, or not quite so straightforward:

FINSTA          fake Instagram account

PMOYS          put me on your Snapchat

LMP                like my picture (invitation to ‘like’ a picture posted on social media)

ROTFLMAO  rolling on the floor, laughing my arse off

SMH               shaking my head (as in, “I don’t believe it” or, “that’s so stupid”)

SMDH            shaking my damned head

IYKYK           if you know, you know (reference to an inside joke)

More complex text talk

Some of the teen code is more subtle than a plain old acronym:

Thirsty            desperate for sexual attention (we’ve all been there)

Tea                  gossip shared among friends (bit old-ladyish, if you ask me.)

Thicc               having a sexy, curvy body (a deliberate misspelling of thick)

Squad             close friendship group

Stan                 overzealous or obsessive fan (portmanteau of ‘stalker’ and ‘fan’)

(the word Stan might come from the song Stan, by Eminem (in 2000), about an obsessed fan)

Snack              attractive person (i.e. good enough to eat)

Smash             to have casual sex

Skeet               to ejaculate

Ship                 relationship

Same               I can relate (as in, “same here”)

Salty                bitter of cranky

OFC                of course

Gucci              something good or cool

Ghosting        ending a relationship by abruptly cutting off all communication

Fire                 amazing

Bet                  you bet!

Bih                  bitch

Basic               boring or conventional person (aka Fortify247 team)

Body count     the number of people someone has had sex with

Cappin’           lying (origins unclear – something to do with mining)

No cap             no lie

Cursed             creepy or unsettling

Daddy             an attractive older man who conveys power or dominance

Ded                 finding something funny or embarrassing (“that has me ded.”)

Dope               cool or awesome

DTF                 down to f**k (willing to have sex, but it’s not a priority)

Fam                 friends

Facts                emphatic way to acknowledge the truth in a statement (i.e. “that’s a fact”)

FBOI               a boy or man just looking for sex

To all parents

Hopefully we’ve given you some insight into the language of youth. If you ever have to decode a teen message, please refer to this list. It might help.

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To all teenagers

For goodness sake, keep your phones locked up. In fact, we advise using multi-factor authentication (MFA). Trust nobody, because if they’ve read this blog, the old folk are now almost as down with the kids as we are, at Fortify247.


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