AMA, PAW, KPC, bae…is this English? Yes, in all its phrasal acronymic glory, only comprehensible to those under the age of 25. It’s internet and SMS speak that has left most of us scratching our heads over what kids are talking about these days. And the vocab is growing.
The English language itself is burgeoning with a plethora of new terms, many of which we can hardly keep up with. Young people are at the forefront of this language enrichment so much so that they have developed their own “speak”. Today’s older generations are left wondering if English on the internet is morphing into an alien language replete with acronyms and emojis worthy of a cryptographer’s attention. (If you don’t know what emojis are, you’ve definitely lived under a rock and need to get up to speed, pronto.) To top it all, a veritable slew of new slang has invaded young colloquial speech that it has actually inspired the online creation of the Urban Dictionary.
Why Learning Internet Lingo is Vital
The pace of language change is so rapid that it is leaving our ability to keep up in the dust. But keep up we must if we feel it is vital to understand and connect with our children…before someone dangerous actually does.
Online bullies, drug pushers, pedophiles, and other types of online predators all know internet lingo and therefore can relate and communicate with our kids. They have taken the time to learn the new vocabulary for their own deviant ends.
To establish the first line of defense to protect our families, it is crucial to take the time to educate ourselves with the new lingo. We need to connect and open our lines of communication with our own children by knowing their language. If we don’t, we can’t effectively protect them because we would have no clue who and what they are encountering and how to respond.
Signs Your Child is Being Targeted on the Internet
- Excessive Time on the Internet
If your child is spending way too much time on the internet, especially at night, chances are he or she has become vulnerable to online predators. Steel yourself with the possibility that your child may be receiving porn or indecent messages from middle-aged perverts bent on trying to gradually normalize the notion of sex between them and your kid.
- Furtive Reception of Calls and Text Messages
When your child’s phone rings to indicate a call or text message, are there sudden behavioral changes such as lowering of the voice, going off somewhere more private, and the like? If so, something undesirable may be up and shouldn’t be ignored.
- Clamming Up
If your kid suddenly shows signs of being distant or becomes chronically too quiet, introverted, or uncommunicative more than usual, he or she could be dealing with online bullying, threats, or even seduction. These are things most young children and teenagers are incapable of dealing with. You cannot help, however, if all you see is gobbledygook you don’t understand in chat messages.
- Sexual Material in Your Kid’s Device
It’s a shocker to discover porn on your child’s phone or laptop. An online predator may be gradually orienting your kid to think more sexually so that he or she may be more open to real-life encounters.
Look Up Anybody Who Sends These Messages to Your Child
Some of these terms and acronyms you may already know, but there must be some you don’t. Nevertheless, this small list is a good start on a crash course to learning the vocabulary, idioms, and modern hieroglyphics (emojis) of the net:
9 and CD9 – Parents are nearby
99 – Parents are gone
ADN- Any day now
AMA – Ask me anything
Bae- Before anyone else. It is also a shortened, sassier version of the term, babe.
DM – (verb) Direct message or send me a direct message on this app
FWB – Friends with benefits
FYEO – For your eyes only
ILY / ILU – I love you
IWSN – I want sex now
KPC – Keeping parents clueless
KMS – Kill myself. This is usually used to express embarrassment; but, if you suspect your child to be suicidal, this could be taken literally.
KYS – Kill yourself. Not a good sign if texted by someone you suspect to be an online bully.
NIFOC – Nude in front of computer
MOS – Mom over shoulder (Mom looking into what I’m typing)
P999 – Parent Alert
PAW – Parents are watching
PCM – Please call me
POS – Parents over shoulder (parents looking into what I’m typing)
LMIRL – Let’s meet in real life
TDTM – Talk dirty to me
GYPO – Get your pants off
WTTP – Want to trade pictures? (Could refer to nude photos of each other.)
WYRN – What’s your real name?
WTPA – Where’s the party at?
RU/18 – Are you over 18 years old?
Terms and Idioms:
Netflix and chill – Let’s hook up; have sex. Most parents erroneously understand this phrase literally as relaxing over a movie on Netflix.
Fam – group of friends
Thirsty – denotes impatience, eagerness, or desperation especially for affection or beginning a relationship with someone.
Thot – a more acceptable way of describing a girl as a whore. Ex. She’s had ten boyfriends. What a thot.
Internet lingo isn’t limited to just words. Because pictures are worth a thousand words, today’s net language is rife with pictographic meanings. Here are some emojis parents need to be aware of:
🌽 🍆 💄 🕹️ 🍼 – The corn, eggplant, lipstick, joystick, and baby bottle emojis are some of the few used as phallic symbols.
🌺 🍩 🐯 – The flower, doughnut, or tiger emojis may point to the vagina.
🍒 🍈🍈 🐫 🍻 – Two cherries, two melons, a two-humped camel, or two beer mugs refer to breasts.
💦 – The droplets-of-sweat emoticon means an orgasm.
🌭 🌮 – A hotdog or a taco may stand for intercourse.
You probably get the picture…or maybe you don’t. Just know there are so much more emoji meanings parents have to decode to understand your kid’s language.
Yes, it’s a whole new world of language your kids have a good handle on. And they’re banking on the fact that you do not. So, educate yourself. Being well informed is a parent’s obligation. Lastly, keep in mind that it might be time to look up anybody exchanging questionable messages with your child.