143

What is 143 short for?

I love you

143 is code for "I love you." Apparently, this slang term originated in the late 19th century.

What is the origin of 143?

In the 1890s, a new lantern was installed at Minots Ledge Light, a lighthouse near Boston Harbor. This new lantern always flashed once, then four times, and then three times, before repeating its sequence.

Because the lighthouse's flashes corresponded to the characters and spaces in the phrase "I love you," people in the area began associating the flashes and the number 143 with the phrase. However, it's unknown exactly who originated this association.

One story posits that young couples were the first to assign meaning to Minots Ledge Light's flashes. These couples apparently also referred to the lighthouse itself as Lover's Light. Another story asserts that a lighthouse keeper and his wife told their children the flashes meant "I love you," and were a message from their father while he was working.

Whatever the case, 143 has since been used to mean "I love you" in text, chat, and social media messages. (As well as on pagers, when those were a thing.)

Example

"Thanks for always being there for me. 143!"

143 means "I love you"

Related Slang

Usage

Last Updated: September 9, 2021

143 definition

This page explains what the abbreviation "143" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slangit team.

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