Everyday individuals can submit a slang word or abbreviation to the site, and Erin will review it, approve it, and see it go live on the site.
“This ever-evolving lexicon just keeps growing, and someone has to decipher and deliver it,” Erin said. We may not talk this way, but we definitely type this way, and it’s a strange communication that needs decoding.” We’ll never know who first decided to type “qt” instead of “cutie” or “ilu” instead of “I love you,” but such terms caught on because they save texters time and make the conversation feel more intimate — as if you share a language all your own.
“We obviously can’t type as fast as we talk, so that’s how this abbreviated language evolved,” Erin explained.
Each exclamation point and word choice can offer a clue into that person’s mindset, so it all goes under the microscope as someone tries to figure out if that person is interested in a relationship — or if it’s time to get someone else’s digits.
Of course, sometimes riddling out what your crush writes means keeping pace with the ever-changing internet and texting slang. Erin Jansen founded Net Lingo in 1995 because she saw the internet changing how people communicated and wanted to create a database to reflect new slang, acronyms, and other jargon.
Some of the terms are fairly widespread — bae, MAGA, and imo — while others may not have come across your radar before.
For instance, people who go to school or work from home may not have heard of a HIPPO, which stands for “highest paid person in the office.” It’s fun to read through this list and guess what complex abbreviations like Wo Mo Bi Jo (working mother with a big job) and 142n8ly (unforunately) mean.
“Plus, people have an easier time being sexy by text — it’s a new way of flirting.
Online daters get to learn a new way of creatively expressing sweet nothings to their love interests.” The Net Lingo database has grown tremendously thanks to user submissions.
Or what did she mean by that smiley face at the end of her reply?