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Q: What chat slang is important for parents to know?

A: Online safety is an issue at the forefront of parents' minds, especially when considering the impact Internet threats can have on children and teens. Kids communicate with friends using a variety of mediums, including text messaging, instant messaging, Internet chat rooms, and social networking websites. If you're a parent, you may have trouble keeping up with the shorthand and other slang kids use in their conversations. While it might not be possible to keep up with every acronym and abbreviation kids use, some terms are especially important for parents to know.

At ChatSlang.com, we have constructed a list of acronyms, abbreviations, and slang terms called the "Parents' Checklist." This resource helps parents decipher the language kids use in text messages and online conversations. Additionally, it can help parents better understand how kids interact online.

View the Parents' Checklist


Example

To see how the Parents' Checklist can be used, consider the following online conversation, which is a typical way that people introduce each other online:

John: "a/s/l?"
Jill: "16/f/Florida, u?"
John: "17/m/Florida here. Where r u in FL?"
Jill: "St. Petersburg."
John: "I'm in Tampa, not too far away."
 .
 .
John: MIRL?

John begins the conversation by asking Jill to state her age, sex, and location (A/S/L). Both people claim to live in Florida. Additionally, John wants to know more specifically where in Florida Jill lives. When Jill tells John, he responds by saying he lives pretty close. Eventually, John asks Jill if she wants to meet in real life (MIRL).

The Parents' Checklist provides definitions for terms like "A/S/L" and "MIRL," as well as links to pages with more information about the terms. These pages include a popularity ranking, a description of the term, and an example of how the term is used.

Summary

By learning common chat slang, parents can better understand what their kids are saying and doing online. The Parents' Checklist is one of many online resources that help equip parents to make online communication safer for children and teens. For other helpful chat slang resources, visit the following pages:

  1. Common Chat Slang - A list of the most commonly used slang terms.
  2. Online Chat Slang - A list of slang terms used in online chat.
  3. Text Messaging Slang - A list of slang terms used in text messages.

Updated: December 13, 2011