I'm the parent of three kids, one of whom has entered that tween stage and is beginning to confuse me with his terminology and language. He's been asking (begging) me for a cell phone for the last six months, at least. So far, I've not given in, but it's only a matter of time before the day comes when I break down. So I thought it might be in my best interest to take the opportunity to review the LRN the Lingo app for iPhone or iPod Touch. With kids going back to school, this may be the right time to consider getting it as well.

About the App

LRN the Lingo is an app for the iPhone or iPod Touch. It defines and explains texting codes, slang, and emoticons in a variety of ways. Users can search for a specific word or phrase by text, lingo or emoticon, or browse the extensive lists of terms found under each category. LRN the Lingo can be purchased from iTunes for 99 cents. 


The first thing I decided to look for was the term "parents." I was curious to see what the younger generation was calling us these days. Unfortunately, I didn't get any slang results under the lingo or emoticons categories. The app did list five results under the text heading. Here are a couple things I learned. The text code "PAL" means "Parents are listening." and "PLOS" is "Parents looking over shoulder." Good to know.

Should you happen to learn something you'd like to share with another clueless adult, you can tap the "share" button and send them a definition by email. Personally, I think it would be more fun to share with all my Twitter and Facebook friends. It could be a game. We could call it "Guess the Teenage Slang." This is a capability the developers may want to consider.

When I began browsing through the options, I quickly found that I was overwhelmed. I must give the developers credit for the amount of research they did. There must be thousands of text codes, emoticons and lingo on this app! 

It was fun to scroll through the many options in each category and to learn a thing or two about the terms being used by kids today. It was not fun to realize just how old I really am. 

The Verdict

While this app was entertaining, and it provided an enormous amount of information, my biggest takeaway is that it was overwhelming to use. I can definitely see its benefit for a parent who is looking for a specific text code or slang term used by her child. In that case, it would be easy to look up the word on the app.

There were text, slang and emoticons for nearly everything imaginable and then some. It may be a bit less overwhelming if they were broken down by topic. I saw terms referencing drugs and weapons. Having worked professionally with at-risk youth, I know that this could be helpful terminology for some parents to learn. It would be nice to find such words listed by category.

Overall, I'd say this app is worth the 99 cents, for sure. The LRN the Lingo website suggests that it can help parents to be able to "stay in the loop, know what your children and their friends are saying to each other or decode lyrics quickly, easily and discretely." I would agree that all of these are possible with the LRN the Lingo app.

Make sure you check back Monday to find out how to get your free copy of LRN the Lingo!