Decoding digital teens: How to crack the codes

Another big issue surrounding “teen code talk” is context

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — It’s the secret code teens use to communicate, and it can be impossible to crack.

“When teenagers are going to be communicating they’re always wondering who else is going to see those messages,” said Purdue’s Computer and Information Technology assistant professor Kathryn Seigfried-Spellar. “And so one of the things that they are going to do is use code words.”

Code words like “CU46” which means see you for sex, and “GNOC” translates to get naked on camera.

But it’s not just words that have codes, it’s also emojis. Lafayette School Resource Ofc. Casey Frazier let News 18 in on a few others, like the emoji of a puff of smoke.

“We’ve seen that one used quite often,” said Ofc. Frazier. “We’re going to go smoke some weed, some marijuana.”

So if you see a text that says I just rolled a 710, chances are they’re not talking about bowling. Because 710 refers to marijuana because flipped over it spells OIL, which is marijuana with a high THC content also known as dabbing.

“Who would’ve thought they were talking about dabbing on there?” said Ofc. Frazier. “So if you see something that is maybe out of the ordinary, that’s where you start raising questions.”

Other codes referring to drug use are “Loud” and “Lean.”

“So you’ll see a lot of things that say I love loud, I love lean,” Ofc. Frazier said.

Sophia Hattendorf is a mother of a teenager, and she was able to get codes like LOL when asked. But when News 18 asked Hattendorf and Kirsten Maloney about not-so-innocent codes, it wasn’t quite as easy.

“I wouldn’t be able to figure that out,” said Hattendorf. “If you hadn’t told me what it said, I would have no idea.”

Ofc. Frazier said, “When parents get involved, and they think they are doing the right thing — going through their text messages, which good parents do — they see it and they don’t understand what’s going on. They just pass up on it, and think it’s just some slang term they don’t understand.”

Seigfried-Spellar said the “teen code” talk changes as fast as trends come and go.

“So now you have to constantly stay up to date on the types of SMS messaging systems that your students and your kids are using,” said Seigfried-Spellar.

Another big issue surrounding “teen code talk” is context.

“A lot of times using code words and emoji’s can separate out, maybe, the context of what the conversation is,” Seigfried-Spellar.

Ofc. Frazier said kids often use a gas pump, meaning gang. But when Maloney was asked what the same emoji meant, she was stunned that gas meant something other than fuel.

“I don’t know, maybe go out for a drive or meet me at the car or something,” said Maloney.

Ofc. Frazier said the best way to keep up to date on your teens is to check up on their texts and social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

“You’re allowed to search your kid’s cellphones, their tablets their rooms. You need to that,” said Ofc. Frazier. “Do that as part as parenting, especially since we live in a digital age.”

If you want to look up some these of words, there are online dictionaries that can help you crack some of these codes or these websites that can help crack teen texting codes:

Here’s a list of helpful “teen code” words:

  • Loud- Marijuana Reference
  • Reggie- Marijuana Reference
  • Legal- Spice Reference
  • 710- OIL spelled upside down/backwards; marijuana oil ref.
  • 40 to 5- 420;marijuana reference
  • Dabbing -Smoking marijuana extract/concentrates
  • Lean-Promenthazine w/Codeine; cough syrup mixed with sprite/jolly ranchers/skittles
  • 8-Oral Sex
  • cu46- See you for Sex
  • GNOC- Get Naked on Cam(era)
  • GYPO- Get Your Pants Off
  • GBRN-Get Naked Right Now
  • IWS-I Want Sex
  • NIFOC- Naked In Front of Computer
  • PAW-Parents Are Watching
  • YWS- You Want Sex
  • WYCM- Will You Call Me
  • RU18- Are You 18
  • POS- Parent over shoulder


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