Youth on their phones

Empower yourself by becoming familiar with terms young people are using to communicate with their peers.

Using the common language of slang creates a sense of togetherness for youth, independent of parents and other adults. 

As a champion for youth, becoming familiar with these terms may empower you to take action by starting positive conversations on tough topics, building strong connections and decreasing risk.

Warning: This section contains unfiltered language that may be considered to some people as derogatory or traumatizing.

The purpose of sharing this content is to empower caregivers, parents and trusted adults to better understand language that may be used by young people in Surrey.

General Youth Slang

Today's youth slang changes quickly and is influenced by social media. Youth use these words to exert independence, sound cool and fit in with their peers.

At the moment

Cool/ stylish/ expensive


Let's leave/ let's get out of here

Bad Publicity. Cancel culture (or call-out culture) is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles – whether it be online, on social media, or in person.

Code-9 means parents are around

Funny/ unbelievable

Over the top

Cool/ awesome

Show off

Good to go

To hype someone up


A lot or a synonym for "really"

100% sure about something

I don't know what to do


Nothing Much

No lie


Open Crib- means parents won't be home

Acronym means Original Gansta- which means the first or original version of something


Being upset over something

Disrespectful manner


A crazed fan

To be honest


Online and Social Media

Interaction with technology and social media can increase positive communications as well as negative ones. Open communication about interactions on social media is the best way to protect youth from being vulnerable online. 

Flashback Friday/ Throwback Thursday

An internet trend used among social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. On a Thursday or Fridays, Users will post nostalgia-inducing picture – from a different era of their life, accompanied by the hashtag #TBT or #FBF

#igers simply means "Instagrammers". If you tag your photo with this hashtag, it means you're using Instagram. It should go without saying, yet the hashtag became popular as a means to build a community

Picture that was taken or posted without a filter

Ask me anything

Add me on snap chat

Age/ Sex/ Location

ASL is most commonly used in online chat and text messaging with the meaning "Age? Sex? Location?", to determine a person's key personal details

A direct message — DM — is a one-on-one conversation with another user hosted on a social media platform. Most of the places you spend your time online like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn and so on offer some form of DM communication

To “slide into the DMs” is slang for sending someone a direct message on Instagram or twitter, often with romantic intentions in mind. The idea is to come off as cool and slick, in hopes that the other person will write back

Follow for follow. 

F4F is an acronym used on social media, mainly on Instagram, to stand for follow for follow. Users will post this after following other users in the hopes they will follow back. It is most frequently used as a hashtag

Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a social anxiety stemming from the belief that others might be having fun while the person experiencing the anxiety is not present.

Instagram is a photo sharing app which allows users to assign filters to photos and share them with followers

A texting term for someone crying


Retweet is a re-posting of a TweetTwitter's Retweet feature helps you and others quickly share that Tweet with all of your followers. You can Retweet your own Tweets or Tweets from someone else

Picture of yourself


When you take a photo or video, or receive a photo or video, it is known as a “snap”. So, when someone asks you to snap them, they are asking you to send them a photo or video through Snapchat, or even a message through the app's chat function

Social media feature where you can add photos/ videos that are viewable for 24 hours

Want to Go private? Often used when someone the recipient if he or she wants to enter a private chat session

Where you at?

“You only live once,” is sort of a teen interjection for “Carpe Diem.” Only it's short on the noble idea of living life to its fullest — and more focused on brash decisions and their consequences

YOLO also refers to an anonymous question and answer app that is used within Snapchat. Users can post anonymous questions and comments on a Snapchat story and also attached an image

Drugs and Alcohol

Drugs typically have street names and code names. Understanding slang related to drugs and drug use empowers parents to understand what their youth are involved in and to be better equipped to start a conversation about it. 

420, 4:20, or 4/20 (pronounced four-twenty) is cannabis culture slang for marijuana and hashish consumption, especially smoking around the time 4:20 p.m., and also refers to cannabis-oriented celebrations that take place annually on April 20

Heavy drug user

Withdrawal- the combination of physical and mental effects that a person experiences after they stop using or reduce their intake of a substance such as alcohol and prescription or recreational drugs.

"Cold turkey" refers to the abrupt stopping of  substance use and the resulting unpleasant experience, as opposed to gradually easing the process

Person who uses drugs heavily

Or "dialer" is an individual that delivers drugs at any time in the day or night

Drug of choice

Drunk or Intoxicated

Drug user or drug supplier


Ecstasy is a stimulant drug that can cause hallucinations. It is known as a designer drug because it was created for the purpose of making someone feel high. The drug is popular with teens and young adults who go to clubs, concerts, or "rave" parties.

PNP is an acronym for “Party and Play” – a term used to describe engaging in sexual activity while under the influence of illegal drugs.


Snowflake also refers to an overly sensitive person. Someone who is easily hurt or offended by the statements and actions of others.

Under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Heavy drug user

Violence and Bullying

Hateful and mean online slang terms are commonly found on social media. Sometimes, young people who are bullied online are at a higher risk for self harm and suicidal behaviour.

Many slang words related to violence and bullying are dangerous and could refer to illegal activity.

Anytime. Anywhere. Anyplace

Using A3 could refer to an arrangement to have sex, buy drugs or fight

To have a grudge or to start conflict with another person

Kill myself / Kill yourself

Really drunk or beaten up

To knock someone out. Can refer to hitting someone hard enough to knock them out.

Could also refer to missing out on something awesome. 

Trolling is defined as creating discord on the Internet by starting quarrels or upsetting people by posting inflammatory or off-topic messages in an online community. Basically, a social media troll is someone who purposely says something controversial in order to get a rise out of other users.

To gang up on someone

Sex and Sexual Exploitation

Online predators aren’t strangers to the internet when it comes to targeting teens and have adopted the same online lingo that youth are using as a way to communicate with and relate to them.

Sharing intimate images online is risky behaviour for young people, sometimes leading to highly exploitative situations.

Some predators have used intimate images that have been willingly shared online to blackmail a youth, recruit them into sex work and/or lure them into a human trafficking situation.

This emoji signals hard yes. Definitely yes, or a Super Yes. 

In a sex work transaction this could indicate few restrictions. 

The cherry emoji in some sex work contexts refers to virginity or underage. 

Another meaning for the cherry emoji is testicles. 

Using this emoji indicates that the person has a pimp

Best of the Best. 

In a sex work context, the cherry blossom emoji refers to inexperienced

Oral Sex

Mainly used to represent a butt / bum / bottom / "ass" in digital communication. Known as the "butt" emoji.

The cat face emoji signifies a slang name for vagina which is another name for a cat: pussy.

This emoji signifies Anal sex. In the context of sex work, using this emoji may indicate the person will engage in anal sex. 

A guarded way of saying 'Money for sex.' A "Rose" is $100 USD. To bring "roses" implies multiples of $100. If she wants a Dozen Roses she wants $1200.

When searching personal ads there will be a lot of ads with women requiring roses. Usually they literally instruct people calling on them for a "Date" to "bring roses." 

When someone is being sexually exploited, the pimp, or the person posting their add may also use this term. 

Hard no. Absolutely no

Boyfriending / girlfriending is when an exploiter manipulates a youth into thinking they are in a relationship

A capper is an individual who tricks kids into committing a sexual act over live stream while screen capturing or recording a video. Some cappers will use the child’s images/videos to extort them for more sexual images or money. Often conversations start on popular social media platforms, and then the capper will ask youth to move to another video chat platform.

A term for sex online

Dining at the Y- Performing oral sex on a woman with her legs in the shape of a "Y"

An Attractive Person. A 10 on a 1-10 scale

Abbreviation for "Down to F***"

Face to Face

For your eyes only

The kissing emoji or the acronym GFE refer to "girl friend experience". 

The Girlfriend experience refers to when a female escort or sex worker provides an experience that includes kissing, cuddling, and hugging.

Get Naked on Camera

A party where older youth invite “LGs/LBs” to exchange sex acts for popularity, drugs, alcohol or acceptance

Refers to “Little Girl” or “Little Boy” who are perceived as a target for exploitation

Online content subscription service which is typically subscribed pornography

Post a picture

Are you over 18?

Sextortion is blackmail. It’s when someone online threatens to send a sexual image or video of the child/youth to other people if they don’t pay the person or provide more sexual content

A young female or male who is financially supported by a sugar momma or sugar daddy in exchange for companionship with can include sexual favors

A nude, partially nude or suggestive picture

A sexualized term for a desirable body

A synonym for someone who is sexually eager

Want to Trade Pictures?

Dating and Relationships

Understanding slang used by youth to describe their dating experiences is empowering knowledge for parents, caregivers, trusted adults and youth allies.

Not only does it provide insight into what is happening in the young person's life, it also equips parents with the background information needed to share helpful advice.

 "53X" is leet speak for "sex." Leet speak is a form of communication that replaces common letters with similar-looking numbers.

Before Anyone Else- typically used for a girlfriend or boyfriend

Benching, or breadcrumbing, occurs when someone a youth has been dating or talking to suddenly stops agreeing to meet in person. However, the person still contacts your teen through text, direct message, and over social media.

Basically, these people are trying to keep your teen on the bench while they play out their other options. This can be a sign of an unhealthy relationship.

Boyfriend/ Girlfriend

To be locked into a committed relationship

Deepliking is a way for a youth or others to show that they like someone by scrolling through old social media posts and liking them. These likes are usually on photos and posts that are months or sometimes even years old.

Friends with benefits

Ghosting someone is to completely ignore them suddenly. Usually a nasty way of breaking up with someone

I love you

I miss you

The acronym IRL stands for "in real life" and means that the relationship has progressed from just talking or texting to an actual, in-person date. Most teens only date people they already know offline through school, clubs, or other venues. However, it is common for the beginning stages of flirting to occur online before progressing to an "official" in-person date.

When someone is "left on read," what this means is that they can see that their significant other has read their text message, but has not responded—sometimes for days. This is frustrating for teens, and adults for that matter, especially if they were discussing something important.

Love You As A Friend

To meet under the pretense of watching Netflix/TV together when actually planning to meet for sex 

Zombieing occurs when the person who ghosted your teen suddenly makes an appearance in their life again. It is like they have come back from the dead.

Physical and Mental Health

Health issues (both mental and physical) can be difficult for youth to discuss openly. Sometimes using slang words to describe their situation helps a teen open up about a tough issue. At the same time, however, this can also put them at risk online.




Die in real life, a phrase which may be used to upset someone or encourage them to commit suicide.

Hate my life/ F*** my life