PORTLAND - A digital expert says teen girls text an average of 100 times a day.
“There are over 1,000 different ways to text talk, say things, keep your parents away, and it's tough as a parent to keep up with all that," said Hilary Decesare, co-founder of everloop.com.
Interpreting texts requires deciphering certain letter combinations.
Teens will use the characters to KPC, which means "Keep parents clueless." They'll alert each other with PIR (parent in room) or PAW (parents are watching) or MOS (mom over shoulder).
“Kids are getting smarter and text talk has become a vocabulary in itself, " Decesare said. Teen texts or emails with their secret lingo can alert you to trouble.
A combination like PRON or pr0n can be intentionally misspelled to say pornography. ASLA is cyber-shorthand asking for "Age, sex, location and availability."
"D8" is one of the more obvious alphanumeric codes, standing for date.
"83 percent of students now have cell phones and it's the number one device used in cyber-bullying,” Decesare warned.
The combination ESAT is used for "Eat (stuff) and die." Six letters can carry an involved physical insult: BOBFOC translates to "Body off Baywatch; face off crimewatch."
"We're seeing kids as young as 7 or 8, and the worst thing is that kids think cyber-bullying is funny," said Decesare.
One in three kids have had cyberthreats, she added, and if more parents learn the lingo, more kids can be spared the pain.
"You can hurt someone with words, but when it's written it seems to leave an everlasting scar."
A couple more combinations to watch for: "Code 9" is another way to say, "My parents are watching." And SOB now stands for "Stressed out big-time." It may be worth a talk with your teen to find out why.