If you thought you had teenage internet speak cracked by getting to grips with acronyms such as 'LOL' (for 'laugh out loud') and 'LMK' (for 'let me know'), think again.

Do you know the meaning of 'IWSN' or 'GNOC'? Considering these are acronyms for 'I want sex now' and 'get naked on camera' used by youngsters, it's probably a good idea that parents do.

These shorthands are just some of the 28 online abbreviations that feature in a new report by CNN about teenagers' secret online language.

The list, collated by Kelly Wallace with the help of Internet safety expert Katie Greer, also contains slang such as '420' for 'marijuana', 'POS' for 'parent over shoulder' and the phrase every parent dreads their teenager reading '(L)MIRL' for 'let's meet in real life'.


Greer's research has found the majority of teens think their parents are trying to keep tabs on them online, so these acronyms are used to hide certain parts of their conversations.

"Acronyms used for this purpose could potentially raise some red flags for parents," she warns.

Renowned parenting expert and author of Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting, Noël Janis-Norton, believes it's useful to have a good understanding of your child's online language but warns, "teens will always stay one step ahead".

"If a teen wants to hide something from their parents, they usually manage to," Janis-Norton tells the MailOnline.

"Often teenagers have a Facebook page that their parents know about and then another one for their real friends. So the most important thing is to keep lines of communication open and to create opportunities for them to absorb your values."

Not understanding the boundaries and repercussions of appropriate online behaviour can lead to problems in the real world. Explicit pictures or video footage can be used by peers to bully, threaten and blackmail or can end up in the hands of sexual predators.

As Claire Lilley, head of child safety online at the NSPCC explains: "Offenders with a sexual interest in children can be extremely manipulative and devious, lying about who they are and creating fake profiles on the social networks young people use.

"Some offenders are interested in meeting and sexually abusing children offline and may use the online exchanges to try to groom a child into a meeting.

"For others getting a child to perform sexually over webcam is their only objective, but this can be equally devastating for victims."

Janis-Norton agrees that the dangers are very real: "Studies have shown that even if you put children who think they're very media savvy in front of a computer, they can be lured into chat rooms with people posing as a teenagers within a few clicks."


If parents do become aware that their teenager is in trouble online, Janis-Norton advises talking seriously while taking care not to appear shocked.

"Shock has the flavour of disapproval," she says.

"So will discourage teenagers from sharing anything they're doing.

"As parents we need to be coming with an understanding attitude - that it is easy for teenagers to be sucked in online.

"Start a conversation by saying 'I'm worried' rather than using words such as 'angry' or 'disgusted'.

"If parents can be sensitive to what their teenager is feeling, it will be easier for the teenager to share what their own feelings, which is often that they are in over their heads."

But if the conversation seems like a lecture, Janis-Norton warns teens are likely to tune-out. 'They'll think, "They're such fuddy-duddies. They don't understand." And just decide to do whatever they want instead.

"Lecturing, threatening and nagging are ineffective ways of getting kids to pay attention," she adds.

"Take the conversation slowly - it's not just a one-off and will need to be revisited frequently."

Jonathan Baggaley, Head of Education at the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, agrees that the best way to protect teenagers from the dangers online is to keep up a conversation about their online lives.

"For today's young people there is no line between the online and offline world," he says.

"They use the internet to socialise and grow and, just as you guide and support them offline, you should be there for them online too.

"Talk to them about what they're doing, if they know you understand they are more likely to approach you if they need support.

"Be inquisitive and interested in the new gadgets and sites that your child is using. It's important that as they learn more, so do you."

He also advises setting boundaries online, just as you would in the real world.

"Think about what they might see, what they share, who they talk to and how long they spend online. It is important to continue to discuss boundaries so that they evolve as your child's use of technology does," he explains.

"Know which devices connects to the internet and how. Also, find out how they are accessing the internet - is it your connection or a neighbour's Wifi? This will affect whether your safety settings are being applied.

"Parental controls are not the answer to your child's online safety, but they are a good start and are not as difficult to install as you might think.

"Service providers are working hard to make them simple, effective and user friendly," he adds.

So what are the important key messages to get across to your teen?

"Emphasise that not everyone is who they say they are and make sure they understand that they should never meet up with anyone they only know online without taking a trusted adult with them," says Baggaley.

"They also need to know what to do if something goes wrong.

"It is important to for them to know when and how to report any problem," he says. That could be to a trusted adult or an official body.

The full list of 28 internet acronyms used by teenagers


- I want sex now


- Get naked on camera


- Naked in front of computer


- Parent in room


- See you for sex


- Sex


- Parent watching


- Parent gone


- Party meeting place


- That hoe over there


- Acid (the drug)


- Hungover from alcohol


- Marijuana


- Parent over shoulder


- Suggestive or erotic photo


- Kiss on the lips


- Let's meet in real life


- Porn


- Talk dirty to me


- Oral sex


- Parents around/Code 9


- I'm posting naked


- Let's have sex


- Want to trade pictures?


- Drug of choice


- Texting while driving


- Get your pants off


- Keeping parents clueless