What does IYKYK mean? Internet slang term explained

TikTok logo on phoneUnsplash: Olivier Bergeron

‘IYKYK’ is just one of many slang terms used across social media from TikTok to Twitter, but if you aren’t sure what it means, here’s everything you need to know.

Throughout the years, the internet has seen a whole range of different slang words, acronyms, and references, with some of them going out of use as quickly as they came about, and others lasting online even to this day.

In particular, platforms like Twitter and TikTok have popularized a number of new slang terms, such as ‘moots’ or ‘mid,’ but with so many of them these days it can be hard to keep up if you’re out of the loop.

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One term that is particularly popular on social media is the acronym, ‘IYKYK,’ which can be written both capitalized and non-capitalized.

The term is often used when people are making references to anything from TV shows to memories from people’s childhood, and may be written as part of a sentence, on its own, or as a hashtag. But what exactly does it mean?

TikTok logo and other apps on a phoneUnsplash: Solen Feyissa
TikTok is one of the biggest sources of new slang terms online.

What does IYKYK mean?

Simply, IYKYK stands for the phrase, ‘If you know, you know.’ It essentially refers to a reference or throwback that only certain people will get, though that group of people depends entirely on the context.

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You may see people using it to talk about a situation without directly referencing it, or to create relatable posts about the era they grew up in.

Some trends on TikTok even used the phrase in videos meant to intentionally confuse people who are out of the loop, by talking about or doing something nonsensical.

So essentially, if you see the term ‘IYKYK’ alongside something you don’t understand, the chances are you aren’t the target audience for the post.

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If there are other words people are using on social media, TikTok in particular, that you don’t know the meaning of, you can check out our slang guide here.

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