The Scoop: If your crush texts you slang terms you don’t understand, your romance can quickly become lost in translation. Fortunately, NetLingo Founder Erin Jansen has spent over 20 years creating resources to help people keep up with common slang and netiquette, so they never miss a beat in online convos. In the last year, she has written two books that detail the texting and romantic slang today’s daters need to know to get their flirt on.

It’s tempting to overanalyze every word, punctuation mark, and emoji in a text message from a crush. What did he mean by “just hangin”? Was he implying that he was free to hang out with me? Or what did she mean by that smiley face at the end of her reply? Is that a signal that she wants to be more than friends?

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.

Photo of Erin Jansen on The Martha Stewart Show

NetLingo Founder Erin Jansen is an authority on online communication and internet slang.

Of course, sometimes riddling out what your crush writes means keeping pace with the ever-changing internet and texting slang. NetLingo can help with that. Erin Jansen founded NetLingo 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.

NetLingo now boasts the largest list of texting acronyms and sees over 3 million pageviews a year. Erin has embraced the nickname “NetLingo Girl” and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, BBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, and “The Martha Stewart Show” to discuss how technology impacts how we communicate and relate to one another.

Erin’s latest book, “NSFW: The Little Black Book of Acronyms,” focuses on defining the flirty terms that are most relevant to modern singles. Its list of naughty abbreviations is a helpful guide for anyone attempting to woo a date online.

“This ever-evolving lexicon just keeps growing, and someone has to decipher and deliver it,” Erin said. “That’s where I come in: the NetLingo Girl. We may not talk this way, but we definitely type this way, and it’s a strange communication that needs decoding.”

Exposing Dirty Talk & Romantic Lingo on the Naughty List

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. “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 NetLingo database has grown tremendously thanks to user submissions. 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 moderation process has allowed her to keep pace with netspeak, 1337 speak, and online jargon.

The covers of NSFW and Texting Terms

“NSFW” would make a nice gift for naughty daters looking for their bae.

In 2018, Erin released two informative books. “Texting Terms” is a nice list of every acronym and abbreviation posted on NetLingo. “NSFW” is a naughty list of all the sexy terms she’s collected in the last 20+ years. “NSFW” is definitely “not suitable for work.” It includes sexual endearments, crude humor, profanity, and references to drugs and alcohol. The book doesn’t hold anything back and gives singles the raw, unfiltered truth. That way, next time someone asks you to tdtm (talk dirty to me), you’ll know what to do.

“When I published ‘Texting Terms,’ the naughty-nyms got lost amidst all of the other acronyms,” Erin explained, “so I played with the idea of creating a little black book version. When I tested that idea, people loved it.”

Now NetLingo users can choose to get a naughty or nice list of online slang. If you’re looking for an adults-only guidebook on sexy slang, you can pick up “NSFW” and learn all the sexty messages and brash acronyms you’ll ever need to know.

“These books can serve as a fun inspiration to keep the conversation going,” Erin said. “It’s important to understand what potential dates are texting you, so if you see an acronym you don’t understand, you can quickly look it up and determine if you should swipe right or left.”

“NSFW” is a ‘sexty’ little black book that highlights the naughty jargon evolving from our online ‘anonymous’ style of communication. Due to its mature content, “NSFW” could make the perfect gag gift for the holidays, but it’s also just a great wingman for online daters seeking ways to get the conversation rolling in a sexy direction.

“‘NSFW’ is meant to be fun,” Erin said. “I decided to give the people what they want. Once I dug deep into my analytics, I found not only is America searching for sex, but y’all talk dirty!”

“Texting Terms” Further Delves Into the Shorthand of the Day

“Texting Terms: NetLingo’s Guide to Every Online Acronym & Abbreviation You’ll Ever Need to Know” has taken NetLingo’s impressive list of texting and chat acronyms and put it into print. The book lists the shorthand and leetspeak used by people all over the world. It has over 3,000 entries, and some will leave you breathless with laughter.

The abbreviation for a big hug

You can say a lot with a little by reading up on common acronyms.

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 WoMoBiJo (working mother with a big job) and 142n8ly (unforunately) mean.

“This handy guide is a great gift for adults who love to spend time online,” Erin said. “If new lingo leaves you 404, you can look up and decode any message in minutes.”

Erin uses simple language to define online acronyms used by millions of people every day. Readers can flip through this book to find a particular term or just to get a sense of the variety of abbreviations being thrown around ESEMED (every second, every minute, every day). Singles can consult this book while texting potential dates so they always look like they’re in the know.

These Slim Books Are Packed With Useful Definitions

“NSFW” and “Texting Terms” deal with slang in different ways. You’ll find sections on assicons and sexty smiles on “NSFW,” while “Texting Terms” deals with more mainstream slang. The raunchy, playful content in “NSFW” appeals to daters interested in sexting properly, while “Texting Terms” appeals to parents who want to understand what their kids are saying. Or singles wondering what a date is saying.

“NSFW” makes for a great gag gift or conversation starter at a party, while “Texting Terms” is more of a practical guidebook for the modern word nerd.

Photo of a woman reading NSFW

“NSFW” lists adult-friendly terms that could come up when you’re sexting.

“These slim, coffee-table books are great for anyone who loves to spend time online,” Erin said.

Erin has created fun and comprehensive resources that cover the world of online jargon with clear definitions. These books give people insight into all sorts of online conversations. “Texting Terms” even has a section on international text terms, so you can bring the book along when seeking romance abroad.

Police stations, district attorneys, and cybercrime units have trusted “Texting Terms” to help them decode cryptic messages on the web. Meanwhile, brogrammers, online daters, cougars, and other singles have used “NSFW” to help them up their flirting games on the web. Whether your interest is personal or professionals, Erin’s books can demystify textspeak for you.

Additionally, NetLingo offers a wealth of information on technology, language, and modern culture. Erin writes weekly editorials on her blog to give her two cents about headlines in the tech industry and beyond. You can also follow NetLingo on Facebook to get frequent updates on where language is going and why it matters.

Erin Jansen Educates & Entertains Today’s Daters

Since 1995, NetLingo’s online dictionary has helped people understand online jargon and common abbreviations. Many newbies have bookmarked the site to get the 411 on demand, and its popularity inspired Erin to create more authoritative and down-to-earth resources that lower the language barrier between folks online.

Now, people can turn to their hardcopy of “NSFW” or “Texting Terms” to find out what a particular slang term or online expression means. These books have highlighted NetLingo’s most relevant and noteworthy acronyms to give readers a laugh as well as some good information. Singles can use these books to help them get to the bottom of what an online crush is saying.

Erin said she hopes her online audience will appreciate seeing their slang contributions in print and that it will spark many conversations about the funniest, strangest, and most useful slang terms and acronyms.

“My mission is to educate and entertain people,” Erin said. “These books are a form of edutainment. No one else is tracking the online language this way.”