10 SMS symbols used by tweens and teens to keep secrets

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Parents: get savvy on secret text symbols your teenager is using to keep you in the dark. Here are 10 text message symbols all parents should know about...and possibly worry about.

1. Hook up: Looks innocent enough, don’t you think? We thought so too, until we sifted through the numerous ‘teen lingo decoded’ dictionaries the internet has to offer. Apparently, the ‘?’ stands for ‘hook’ and the ‘^’ means ‘up’. Put them together and what do you have? Hook up. As in ‘Do you wanna ?^’.

1. Hook Up

2. Parent Over Shoulder: To anyone who has ever worked in sales of any type, ‘POS’ would stand for ‘point of sale’. If you find yourself looking over your teen’s shoulder while he or she is on the phone and you see this acronym, they know you’re watching. It stands for ‘parent over shoulder’.

2. Parent Over Shoulder

3. 1234: Simple sequence of numbers, you say. We thought as much (looks like we’re all a little out of touch). It stands for ‘I love you’. As in ‘1 thing to say 2 you 3 words 4 you’ – I love you. We reckon they got the inspiration for this one from the song titled, you guessed it, 1234 by The Plain White Ts.

3. 1234

 

4. Age, Sex, Location: Generally found in internet chat rooms when talking to a stranger for the first time. ‘ASL’ stands quite simply for ‘age, sex, location’ and works perfectly for seeking out basic information when chatting with someone new. Of course, hidden behind a screen the other party could easily be lying. We’ve all heard chat room horror stories of meeting someone ‘IRL’ (that is – in real life), only to find out the someone you thought was a charming 17-year-old is really a grimy 40-year-old internet predator.

4. Age, Sex, Location

5. Scr** You: Just like the seemingly harmless symbol for ‘hook up’, you probably wouldn’t give this one a second glance. What we are accustomed to using to mean ‘more than’ holds a more offensive meaning here – screw. As in ‘screw you’.

5. Scr** You

6. Slit Wrists: Heads up, parents, if you see this symbol being used by your teenager, we suggest you talk to them about it. We learnt that it stands for ‘slit wrists’. Teenagers inflicting pain on themselves could be indication of bigger problems such as depression. Experts say parents should address the problem calmly and without judgement. Your teens need help and they need to trust that they won’t be getting themselves in trouble by confiding in you.

6. Slit Wrists

7. The Reproductive Organ: Don’t believe your teens when they try to tell you this is a smiley face. Used in today’s version of phone sex, sexting (a combination of the words ‘sex’ and texting’), it represents the male reproductive organ. Tilt your head to the right, you should be able to see it.

7. The Reproductive Organ

8. F*** You: Say it aloud repetitively. Four Q. Four Q. Four Q. Are you hearing it? Certainly not language you want to condone.

8. F*** You

9. Code 9: Cleverly adopting police-esque lingo, CD9 stands for Code9, virtually possessing the same meaning as ‘POS’. Code9 basically means that a parent is in the vicinity or is watching. A Code9 leads to an immediate change of discussion if they are keeping something from you.

9. Code 9

10. Anytime, Anywhere, Any place: Chances are your teen isn’t referring to battery sizes with this one. The acronym ‘AAA’ stands for ‘Anytime, Anywhere, Any place’. Of course, how innocent the subject of discussion here is depends on the few sentences leading up to the usage of this acronym. It could be something as simple as ‘what are the plans for tomorrow’s movie?’ It would be more than a little worrying though if the symbol before this was the unassuming ‘?^’, don’t you think?

10. Anytime, Anywhere, Any place

This article is republished with permission from theAsianParent. We hope you found it useful.