Teen Texting: Ultimate Dictionary For Parents

Crack the code of your teen’s texts with this handy guide…

Teen slang is ever-changing and fast-moving making it difficult for any parent to keep up with what the latest emoji or acronym means in teen-talk. It might look like an innocent vegetable emoji to you, but it can have an entirely different meaning to a teenager.

It can be a full-time job trying to crack this code and, just when you think you finally have it sussed, it morphs and expands into an entirely different meaning. We’ve tried to collate as many as possible to help you navigate the chaotic landscape of teen texting.


This is by no means an exhaustive list but here’s a rundown of the most commonly used abbreviations and acronyms:

Look out for these sexually related phrases:


For teens, emojis often have more than one meaning and they use them in a very different way to us. Phallic-shaped emojis are often used to represent a penis while round fruits and foods often symbolise buttocks or a vagina. Here’s a summary of the most commonly used emojis and what they mean:

We hope you find this dictionary helpful. Remember: the meanings of emojis are fluid. They change often and an emoji that might once have been used to symbolise sex might now be ‘extinct’. Likewise, some teens may be using emojis purely for their actual meaning and not necessarily talking in code. They may be unaware of an emoji’s double meaning.

Curated by

Sian Dolan
Sian Dolan is a content writer for Hidden Strength with a background in children’s and teenage magazines. She feels it’s more important than ever to write supportive, engaging features for young adults who need a guiding light and a helping hand with their mental health and wellbeing.