Thirtysomethings today — who can understand them?

Unable to express themselves in real life, thirtysomethings only show their true nature in text messages. (Cut them some slack! They’re just realizing their dreams are unachievable.)

Text message slang helps thirtysomethings define their connections, feel accepted, and gain independence. And of course, there’s the bonus of keeping bosses and parents in the dark.

That logic is reasonable for the most part, so we should allow this rite of passage. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be educated. It is important to decode what your thirtysomething is saying in text messages.

Familiarize yourself with the following words and abbreviations your thirtysomething is likely using. Study them. Learn them. Then, never use them. Because there’s nothing more out of place than trying to appropriate your thirtysomething’s language!

As always, make your relationship and open communication with your thirtysomething a priority. It’s the #1 way to avoid digital disasters.


af: full from having eaten an acai bowl

afk: be right back, I’m putting the controller down and attending to the baby

aw?: after work?

bach: bachelor party

bae: a broad inlet of the sea where the land curves inward

basic: easy to assemble

bfn: bye (for now)

BIW: boss is watching

boolin’: just hanging out and relaxing, nothing crazy. What about you?

bot: a fake fan or follower

bringing heat: providing good content

broke: spiritually run down from work and other stressors of modern life

bruh: seriously?

bruv: brooo

chest up: attempt to physically fight a co-worker

come at: to repeatedly, prescriptively, attack one person in a meeting

come thru: yeah, stop on by my apartment I have a new IPA

creeper: strong marijuana whose effects creep up on the casual user

creeping: one who reads meeting minutes but doesn’t provide feedback

crush it: best of luck at your performance review today

curve: a line or outline that gradually deviates from being straight for some or all of its length

dank: a high-quality intra-office meme

dark: one who has not participated on Slack in some time

dd: diaper duty

dead: laughing self-deprecatingly until breathing is made difficult

dilla: quesadilla

dirt: a cigarette that is grubbed after lunch mimosas

dm/pm: to text one on one

dom: dominate, particularly at the gym; to eat food quickly; abbreviation of Domino’s

ds: please don’t screenshot this and share it with everyone

du: dude

dump: texting a content series that’s been hoarded heretofore

fading: tired from having not eaten recently

fake news: noun untruthful; adjective full of shit

finna: liable to

fire: good content

fn: Fortnite

fogged out: feeling hungover after eating a lot of bread

foh: [see gtfo]

fr: for real

ganger: elevator doppleganger

ghosted: ignored

gm: good morning

gong meditation: smoking cessation

gotchu: no problem, I’ll do this for you

green text boy: someone who uses an Android phone

grinding: actually working

gtfo: give me a break; get someone else to do it; leave!

hacked: [typically follows an embarrassing statement or admission]

HAND: have a nice day

hard body: strong, tough, respectable; intently or persistently

healing crystals: rocks or minerals with purported powers, typically bought by reformed party people and small business owners

heh: [conveys mischief, or an inside joke]

high af: very inebriated due to marijuana

hobjs: hold on, baby just shit

hodl: hold on for dear life

hundo: hundred [currency]

hungover af: had two glasses of wine at dinner last night and I’m in slow motion today

i see you: I recognize the work you’re putting in and just know I appreciate it

idc: I don’t care

idgaf: honestly, I really couldn’t care less

ikr: I know, right?

im at the bar: I got here early so I could chug two beers before you arrive

irl: in real life

IWFR: I work Fridays remotely

juul: something—a device—high school kids smoke in bathrooms

keto: a type of diet that fills the gaps between devastating alcoholic binges

KMS: crippling depression; it’s Sunday

lagging: not receiving many text messages

lagggg: prolonged lagging

leak: sharing the content of a text message at the water cooler

let’s get weird: why don’t we push the envelope slightly?

life-affirming: very good halal food

light: low on funds

link up: do hush-hush business together on the side

lit: ?

ln: last niiiight

lol: lessens the harshness of a statement when appended [lowercase only]

low-energy: unenthusiastic; bad at after-work parties

lung dart: cigarette grubbed at happy hour

ma du: my dude

margs?: margaritas?

meta: layered; thought out

mets looking good: the mets are losing

miss me: please do not consider me for, or involve me in, whatever it is you plan to do

nah: no

nap: not a problem

nate: urinate

*nods*: [conveys agreement]

normie: normal person; mainstream; evolution of “white bread”; the new guy

normie bates: a severely normal person

np: no problem

npnp: my pleasure

NSFW: not safe for work but what the hell

ofc: of course

off the chain: extremely good halal food

one hundred: [myriad of uses, too exhaustive to list]

outside: in my car, idling in front of your apartment but it’s awkward to call, ring the bell, or beep

park nope: Park Slope

pls: just do me this favor

pof: plenty of fish

pull up: I defy you to bring your argument to me in person and subsequently debate at my cubicle

QQ: crying alone in the bathroom

quaff: eat quickly; an undecided hairstyle

rn: no, not later. Now.

roasted: what remains of a trolled person

sabi: what’s up?

salty: tasting of, containing, or preserved with salt

sd: still drunk

shit post: ironically bad content, sometimes meta

shoe game: choice of dress shoes

shook: to be left deeply perturbed

shot: burnt out

side chat: [see sub-chat]

sippin’: nursing a bottle of Pedialyte so I don’t die

soosh: sushi

soul chat: a group text message full of girlfriends or wives who do tarot and eat acai bowls

stroller gridlock: Park Slope

sub-chat: a side text message in which the participants roast the participants of the primary text message unit

swipe right: instructions printed on time clock

swole: showing evidence that one has worked out at the gym

tbell run: taking the subway to Taco Bell; eating Taco Bell alone in an idling vehicle

take it to dm/pm: will the two of you please quiet down and discuss this matter one on one

TIME: tears in my eyes

tf: [conveys confusion]

the alchemist: a book by Paulo Coelho

tho: though

troll: a subversive joke(r), a meta prank(ster); the logical evolution of irony

troll chat: a group text message comprised of trolls

trolled: a victim of a troll

trolling: wasn’t being serious when I told everyone your personal history

tru: true

tryna: trying to

TWD: texting while driving

ty: thank you; abbreviation of thx

ty sir: thanks for buying that printer toner, I will pay you back

venmo?: I know I owe you money, let’s make it right

wait until you have kids: parental gatekeeping

weak crew: an irrelevant or insignificant group of work friends

weak hands: someone who can’t hold on to their cryptocurrency

what are those: unaesthetic dress shoes or Friday sneakers

whos up: who else is partying? [typically in all caps]

with: what in the hell

woke: aware of the true nature of society

wt: can’t, I have work tomorrow

WTCA: where is the coffee at