Getting old is weird, right? Knees start to crackle, the MacDonalds-related weight from last week doesn’t fall off like it used to and you’re pretty sure you’ve seen every new movie. Make no mistake, you’re not the first one to go through this process. The level of new jargon, acronyms and slang has also become so bewildering for those desperately trying to keep up.

There is a funny and a dark side to this knowledge gap between parents and kids. On the one hand, there is a whole host of clever and creative ways that young people use to communicate. A weird new language game that it’d fun to be a little more in on.

On the other hand, there is also a number of worrying trends when it comes to acronyms for sexually related activities or mental health issues that are important if you want to be able to keep a weather ear out for red flags in your child’s behavior.

Now, we are not here to advise you on how to spy on your kids. That just ain’t cool. Though, if you’re concerned about your kid’s internety safety, we have another guide instead. But today we are going to give you a breakdown of important (or even just curious) internet acronyms and internet slang to be aware of.

What’s up with teenage slang in 2018?

The internet slang list can often overlap with the separate category of internet abbreviations, as the latter are often used verbally as well as part of a text or message. For instance, ‘Bae’ stands for Before Anyone Else and is used in both text and spoken conversations in place of ‘baby’ to refer to a girlfriend or boyfriend.

First off, here is a set of everyday internet slang terms that will help you decipher meaning from the apparent babble:

Fam: Refers to the closest of your child’s friends, a bestie, or BFF (Best friend forever). Will they remain so forever? Highly unlikely as you know well but it would be the height of buzz-killing to tell them so at this stage.

Bruh: Another way of saying ‘bro’. Rarely refers to an actual blood relation but more to male friends or brothers in arms if you will. It’s likely your child has shared an intense moment of sporting achievement with this person or at the very least, a solid high five.

GOAT: Does not refer to the often-times aggressive cousin of the sheep, but instead stands for ‘Greatest of All Time’. It is used to express a high level of impressiveness. Much like ‘awesome’ before it, the standards for something being the ‘GOAT’ seem to have fallen over the years, so expect to hear this term related to things that you yourself may not regard as the modern-day equivalent of Muhammed Ali.

It’s lit: Means that something is very, very good, even excellent. It’s not clear in what sense the good thing is lit. Perhaps it is on fire and is consequently ‘hot’. Perhaps young people today are very passionate about sufficient lighting. In any case, the good thing is ‘lit’.

Red flags in internet slang

We all like to be a little more involved in our children’s world but one of a parent’s more important roles is to be aware of when a son or a daughter is in distress or engaging in activities that they do not have a sufficient level of maturity to deal with. The following list of slang terms include phrases that are not always a sign of one of the latter but they are important enough that hearing one should constitute a red flag:

Netflix’n’Chill: While it may once have  related to an intention to check out the latest series of Stranger Things with a friend, the phrase Netflix & Chill now refers to the intention to make out or have sex under the pretence of watching TV together. This commonly used phrase is tippy-top of the internet slanglist.

Bye Felicia: Used as a disrespectful way to dismiss someone out of hand. It may just be an indication that your child doesn’t like another child, but could also indicate that they are involved in an active bullying.

Turnt up: To be drunk or high.

Smash: A sister term to Netflix’n’Chill, it means casual sex.

Text acronyms parents should know

So, what about internet abbreviations or text acronyms that parents should know about? The complete teenage acronyms dictionary is a mammoth tome that is always growing, but there are online resources like The Urban Dictionary that can help you decipher specific terms you may be confused by. The latter is actually an online teenage slang and teenage acronyms dictionary that is constantly updated with new terms. That said, here is a quick look at some of the most popular and the most potentially dangerous.

First up, the good ones

Here are some of the more benign acronyms that will help you clue into your child’s world. You may hear them interspersed into conversation but you are more likely to see them on your son or daughter’s social media page or text messages.

143: Means ‘I love you’. Awwww.

BTW and TBH: Means ‘By the way’ and ‘To be honest’ respectively. The highly popular usage of both makes us wonder if we’ll ever get those phrases back.

ORLY: Contraction of ‘Oh, really’. Yes, really.

Sexting acronyms

This section of the internet acronyms list relates to sexual activities that your teenage child may not have the maturity to handle. The term ‘sexting’ relates to the growing practice among teens of exchanging naked or semi-naked images of themselves with other friends or even older people. Sexting acronyms are high on the list of text acronyms parents should know, so here is a list of the most commonly used ones.

Be aware it is not exhaustive and other terms for the same thing may also be used by your young one. If you become aware that your child is engaged in the practice of sexting, you should have a frank discussion with them about the inherent dangers including the potential for embarrassment, blackmail and even the possibility of criminal charges.

CU46: Short for ‘See you for sex’. This one is fairly unambiguous so if you see or hear your teenage son or daughter using it then it really only means one thing.

GNOC: Means ‘Get naked on camera’ and relates to the exchange of lewd images through smartphones or computers.

LMIRL: Means ‘Let’s meet in real life’. While not always a bad sign, it is still an indication that your child wishes to set up a meeting with someone that they have only every engaged with through the veil of online social media.

FWB: Means ‘Friends with Benefits’ and refers to the practice of carrying on a casual sexual relationship with a friend instead of a girlfriend or boyfriend.

Acronym for the word parents

Another high-priority section of the internet acronyms list is the surprisingly robust collection of terms that are used for parents, usually in order to avoid their notice. If you hear or see one of these, it is an indication that your child is up to something they don’t want you to know about or are at least not comfortable with you hearing about it. Not necessarily a condemnation in itself but a good indication that there is something worth investigating here.

CD9 or 9: Literally means code 9 which translates to ‘parents are here’. The most commonly used term to indicate that a parent is in the area. Another popular acronym for the word parents is PAW (Parents are watching) or MOS (Mother over shoulder).

KPC: Means ‘Keep parents clueless’. A good indicator that plans are already in motion that require secrecy.

POS: Means ‘Parent over shoulder’. It may be simply used to indicate that you or your spouse are in the area but it could be a red flag for yourself that your interest in their activities has not gone unnoticed!

Lastly, for children in distress…

The last and most heart-wrenching category of acronyms we will look at today relates to the list of acronyms that may indicate that your child is experiencing depression, bullying or another kind of mental strain. If you hear one of these it is best to keep a close eye on your child’s behaviour in order to get a better sense of their overall well-being.

KMS: Stands for ‘Kill myself’. Parents should be aware this is not always used in a literal context but may just be expressed to indicate extreme embarrassment. However, if your child seems to be otherwise dejected or distressed, this is certainly to be considered a red flag term.

Molly: Code for MDMA, the party drug. May indicate your teenage son or daughter is experimenting with dangerous substances.