man and woman laughing at jokes on their phones

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What does IYKYK mean?

The internet slang is suddenly all over Twitter.

Apr 8, 2021, 3:28 pm*

Internet Culture


Stacey Ritzen

Kids these days, with their TikTok videos and secret languages … it can be hard to keep up when the internet is moving at a positively frenetic pace. As one might say, “if you know, you know,” which is incidentally the subject of the latest internet slang: IYKYK.

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IYKYK, explained

The phrase, and by proxy, the abbreviation, is nothing new. The top Urban Dictionary entry for iykyk dates back to December 2016, which was at the time defined as: “If You Know You Know. Last night’s party was crazy #iykyk.” Essentially, the phrase boils down to an inside joke or choice piece of information that only select individuals might be privy to.

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Other definitions describe it as a “secret melodramatic girl language” used to provoke drama or stir the proverbial pot—that also has the potential to create “copious amounts of fomo.” Similar phrases, according to #Hashtag Dictionary, include “Do you feel me?” “Are we on the same page?” and “Either you get it, or you don’t.”

IYKYK memes

At any rate, anyone who has glanced at the internet recently has probably noticed that iykyk is currently all over the place. On Twitter, people are using iykyk to riff about anything from college extracurriculars and prom being canceled to Snapchat memories.

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Others are sharing an odd nostalgia for the video chat and messaging app ooVoo, in times of quarantine … iykyk indeed!

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Others used iykyk to remember the infamous Alabama leprechaun on St. Patrick’s Day and to roast Lizzie McGuire’s sidekick “Gordo.” (Who is set to return for the Disney+ revival.)

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Meanwhile, on TikTok, people are largely using iykyk to refer to, well, sex!
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The more you know—if you know, you know—you know?

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*First Published: Mar 24, 2020, 7:00 am