Top 10 Trendiest Teen Texting Lingo Defined

With the advent of the digital age, the evolution of language is happening more quickly, especially among teens. They come up with their own language to express themselves, and often, it's nearly impossible for parents to understand what their kids are saying. Internet slang and lingo cycles so rapidly that it's hard to stay on top of figuring it out, especially when you aren't quite as plugged in as your son or daughter.

To help you understand the latest lingo, we've compiled a list of 10 current slang terms that your son or daughter might be using:

  1. FOMO: This acronym stands for Fear Of Missing Out. This is a form of social anxiety where someone is compulsively concerned about missing out on an event or interaction. This is most associated with modern technology and social networks, which enable us to be interacting constantly with our friends and with what's happening in the world. If your teen seems to be compulsively checking his or her phone, they might be feeling FOMO.

  2. MOMO: An offshoot of FOMO, this stands for Mystery of Missing Out, which is anxiety about missing out on something because social media accounts are not posting. Example: "If my friend's Instagram account goes silent for hours and hours, I get MOMO."

  3. Swag: Swag started off meaning money or goods. Example: "Check out this swag I got at the store." Now, it can also be used as a substitute for "cool," as in, "This shirt is really swag." 

  4. Usie: This is a play off of the term "selfie," which means a photo you took of yourself. An "usie" is a photo taken of a group of people together by one of the group. Similarly, people have been calling pet selfies "pelfies."

  5. Turnt: This is a shortened version of turned. The word started out meaning drunk or high, but now it can also just mean really excited or energetic, so it doesn't necessarily mean that your kid is doing drugs! Example: "Let's get turnt."

  6. AITR: This acronym stands for "adults in the room." This is something teens use if they are messaging someone online or texting and need to warn their friends not to write something they don't want their parents to see, or tell someone why they aren't responding. If you see this on your teen's screen, they could be hiding something from you - or they could just want some privacy!

  7. NGL: Stands for "not gonna lie." Example "I really thought that was a bad performance, NGL."

  8. IMHO: Stands for "in my humble opinion." Example: "IMHO, we should eat somewhere cheap." IMO is also used for "in my opinion."

  9. SMH: Stands for "shake my head." This is usually used when someone thinks something is unbelievable or stupid. It's generally a stand-alone acronym, not part of a sentence.

  10. Totes: This is just a shortened version of the word "totally." Example: "I am totes excited for the concert."

As a parent, it's important to be able to communicate with your kid and to understand and be aware of their activity online as well as in real life. Though they might find it annoying, monitoring your kids' digital activity will help to keep them safe. You might not want to use their lingo, but being able to understand it will certainly help you communicate and stay relevant in their eyes and the eyes of the world.

Though it's also important to allow your children to have their privacy, there is a balance to be found between protecting your children and being aware of their online lives and allowing them the room to be their own people and grow up. It's a difficult tightrope walk for all parents, but educating yourself about the culture that your teens are growing up in is an important step. Learning this lingo will keep you in the loop.

uKnowKids is proud to release the video "uKnow On The Street", which shows uKnow team members hitting the streets to find out how well regular people know popular teen slang and lingo. Check out the video for a laugh and to see how even some young adults aren't so up-to-speed on the trendiest teen lingo!

For more on texting slang & lingo and to see how well you know the trendiest terms, check out uKnowLingo.      

We are pleased to announce that Bark will be taking over where we leave off. The uKnowKids mission to protect digital kids will live on with Bark. Our team will be working closely with Bark’s team in the future, so that we can continue making the digital world a safer, better place for kids and their families. While we are disappointed we could not complete this mission independently, we are also pleased to hand the uKnowKids baton to Bark.
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