Each year, Telstra handles over 12 billion text messages.

That’s more than 32,876,712 messages a day; 1,369,863 an hour; 22,831 a minute or; more than 381 messages a second.

And many of these messages are definitely not understood by tech-illiterate parents (sorry to stereotype, Mum).

It’s hard to place exactly where SMS language originated.

It may have come from the thrifty consumer who was limited to 160 characters per text sent.

Perhaps it was a group of texters who had spent some time in internet chat rooms using shorthand language.

Maybe it was from a time-poor person who found it quicker to write C U L8R than “see you later”.

While there are some similarities to old school shorthand used over a hundred years ago in telegrams, it was definitely the invention of the mobile phone that made abbreviation of common words into acronyms or other shorthand forms something of a social norm for electronic communications.

So for all those parents out there struggling to communicate with their kids via text message, I’ve made a quick list of some common text language so you can blow them away with your coolness.

Text speak:

  • @ = at
  • <3 = a love heart (turn your head to the right and look at it sideways)
  • 2DAY = today
  • 2MOZ = tomorrow
  • Addy = address
  • ASL = Age, sex, location? (This is an old school one from chatroom days. I hope your parents never have the need to ask you this…)
  • ATM = at the moment
  • B4 = before
  • BTW = by the way
  • Coz = because
  • C U L8R = see you later
  • CYA = see you later
  • Defs = definitely
  • FTW = for the win
  • G2G = got to go
  • GR8 = great
  • JKS = jokes/kidding
  • LOL = laugh out loud, not “lots of love”. The message “Fish died lol” is not ok.
  • Luv = love
  • NE = any
  • THX/THNX = thanks
  • OMG = oh my god!
  • ROFL = rolling on the floor laughing
  • TBH = To be honest
  • TTYL = talk to you later
  • UR = you’re
  • YOLO = you only live once
  • WTF = Why the face? 😉 Phil Dunphy eat your heart out.