Craigslist Code Words: Do You Know What They Really Mean?

By Amy Lane

November 16, 2018   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

So, you’re cruising Craigslist’s casual encounters section.

You start talking to a self-shrinking violet who wants to parTy and be wooed with roses. The next thing you know, you’re in jail for cavorting with a prostitute who was high on meth.

Whoa! That got real fast.

Welcome to Craigslist, the sewer of the Internet. Unless you’re a serial killer with low expectations, Craigslist is no place to find love.

avoiding noise distraction

If you fell for the shrinking violet story, you missed the hidden message written between the lines.

Violet can mean marijuana. A strategically placed capital T means meth. Roses is a code word for dollars in prostitution. If she wants to spend a romantic evening with you in exchange for 40 roses, she’s not talking about flowers.

For those looking for trouble, Craigslist is full of it. But for others, missing the hidden codewords implanted in an ad could land you in a sticky situation.

A recent drug bust revealed that dealers attempted to sell the painkiller Roxicodone through the site. They used the code word ‘Roxy boardshorts size 30.’ 30 stood for 30 mg. Another bust revealed that heroin was being sold as ‘roofing tar.’

Bad news for some poor guy just trying to fix a leaky roof.

If you spot any of the following code words or acronyms on Craigslist, beware!

The Craigslist Code

Discreet- If someone asks you to be discreet or promises secrecy, there’s a good chance that it’s related to something illegal.

French Lesson – Agreeing to this won’t make you learn a new language. French lesson in Craigslist means prostitution.

Party Favors – Party favors on Craigslist aren’t something to be happy and thankful about. Unless you’re into drugs, stay away from them.

Tina or Tina Turner – Even if you are a fan of the artist, never search for Tina or Tina Turner souvenirs on Craigslist. You might end up with crystal methamphetamine on your hands.

Without an interpreter –  This means unprotected sex.

NSA- It means No Strings Attached or casual sex.

Party and Play –  While it feels good to be invited to a party, remember to say no to this one. Party and Play in Craigslist involves sex and drugs. Methamphetamine is the most common choice.

420, Mary-Jane, Violet – Marijuana

ABR/ANR – Should you come across an ad for ABR/ANR, shut your laptop right away. It stands for Adult Breastfeeding Relationship or Adult Nursing Relationship. Urgh.

Anything to do with massage or casual encounters – Under no circumstances should you sign up for a massage through Craigslist. If they’re listed as DDF, it means they’re disease and drug-free. Unfortunately, people on the Internet lie a lot. Newsweek reported that Craigslist hookups were responsible for a 16% increase in cases of HIV.

Cranked – If somebody wishes to get cranked, it means they want to sample a rainbow of narcotics that will have them bouncing off the walls like demented fruit bats. Avoid.

Fun Times – Fun times are not fun times. If you see an ad for fun times, it means that the author hopes for a casual hookup. History has shown that hooking up casually on Craigslist can spell disaster. For lonely hearts who want a platonic friend, buy a cat. Never agree to ‘fun times.’

Molly – Don’t meet Molly unless you’re trying to score MDMA.

Poppy – Also heroin.

Ski – They like skiing! You like skiing! A perfect road trip buddy for Aspen? No bueno. This one will snort the snow off the slopes. Skiing means cocaine. So does California Cornflakes. Don’t make brunch plans through the classified section.

Riding The H Train – The only train you’ll be riding is the one straight to jail if you meet up with this dope-slinging degenerate. H stands for heroin.

Rolls Royce – Don’t get your hopes up if an online suitor offers to take you out in his Rolls Royce. Their ride might be the bus, but they’ll offer you ecstasy en route.

Roses, sugar, doe, $, help, tips – Cash. More specifically, cash that’s exchanged for sexual favors.

Tina – Tina is Molly’s ugly, meaner sister – AKA crystal methamphetamine

Water Works/ Wet Works – This means somebody wants to urinate on you, or they’re an assassin. Either way, it’s a bad scene. Craigslist’s crew of artful dodgers are always inventing new codewords to creep around the authorities. By the time you read this list, it may already be outdated. But accidentally stumbling upon a drug racket is the least of your concerns when poking a toe into Craigslist’s cesspool.

One Google search will reveal a litany of Craigslist horror stories. Serial killings, beheadings, sex crimes, fetus murders…it’s a playbook of horror movie plotlines. But sometimes you can find good deals on slightly used furniture. What a dilemma!

How to Stay Safe on Craigslist?

  • Get a full name before you meet

Check the person out online before you meet. If they don’t want to give you a name, run the number through a phone lookup directory. It may reveal all kinds of details about them.

  • Never meet alone

If you’re going to buy a fish tank or a nice looking futon, take someone with you. Choose a big strong buddy who can fend off trouble.

  • Scan for any red flags

If the post is well-written and includes photographs, a name, and a number, you might be okay. If any words, such as parTy, are spelled strangely, abort. It might be a code word for something you don’t want to get involved in.

Is Craigslist brimming with psychopaths and drug dealers? Like any neck of the woods, it has its fair share of creeps and weirdos. Never use Craigslist for any type of socializing; the freak ratio increases dramatically when you exit the mainstream sections. Craigslist can be a great resource, but make sure to use it wisely and exercise caution and common sense.

Amy Lane

Amy Lane is a writer for Dialed In and is based out of San Diego. She enjoys pizza, surfing and the beach life.

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