What Does “143” Mean in Texting? Definition, Examples & More (2024)

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Uncover the loving meaning & history behind 143

Co-authored byBailey ChoReviewed byMichelle Arbeau

Last Updated: June 4, 2024Fact Checked

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  • 143 Meaning
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  • Similar Codes
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  • Other Popular Abbreviations
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You might have seen the numeric code “143” in texting or on social media, but what exactly does it mean? “143” is a quick way to say “I love you,” which was widely used on pagers in the 1990s. In this article, we’ll unpack how to use this sweet abbreviation today, plus teach you tons of related terms and codes you can send to make your loved ones feel cherished.

Things You Should Know

  • 143 stands for “I love you.” The phrase relates to the number of letters in each word: I (1), Love (4), You (3).
  • 143 comes from the numeric flash sequence of lighthouses in the 1890s. The numeric code was widely used on pagers in the early 1990s.
  • Text 143 to tell your friend, family member, or partner that you love them. Alternatively, use the codes 1437 (“I love you forever”) or 5998 (“You’re my world”).

Section 1 of 5:

What does “143” mean in texting?

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  1. “143” is an abbreviation for “I love you.” Used in texting and on social media, the numeric code “143” is a quick way to show love to your friends, family members, or romantic partner. The numbers relate to how many letters are in each word:[1]

    • 1 = “I”
    • 4 = “L-O-V-E”
    • 3 = “Y-O-U”
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Section 2 of 5:

Origin & Spread of “143”

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  1. 1

    The numeric code “143” stems from Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse. In the late 1890s, Lt. Frederick Mahan of the Lighthouse Board advised that all lighthouses have numerical flash sequences. Minot’s Ledge Lighthouse chose a 1-4-3 flash at random (no one knows why), which people on shore associated with the phrase “I love you.” Afterwards, Minot’s Ledge became known as “Lover’s Light.”[2]

    • Some people believe that “143” became synonymous with “I love you” in 1915. During this time, a new assistant lighthouse keeper, Winfield Scott Thompson, came to Minot’s Ledge, while his family lived on a nearby island. His wife told their kids that the 1-4-3 flash was their father’s way of expressing love to them across the water.[3]
  2. 2

    “143” became widely used on pagers in the early 1990s. Before smartphones were invented, people used pagers to communicate with each other. These devices had limited space for messages (and some couldn’t even text words), so people created codes for specific phrases like “I love you.”[4] Other popular codes included:

    • 07734 = “Hello”
    • 424 = “Call me back”
    • 157 = “Keep in touch”
    • 823 = “Thinking of you”
    • 6000 843 = “Good bye”
    • 60 401773 = “Go home”
    • 1437 = “I love you forever”
    • 637 = “Always and forever”
    • 1 177155 400 = “I miss you”
    • 6000 171647 = “Good night”
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Section 3 of 5:

How to Use “143”

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  1. 1

    Text “143” to express love in a casual and creative way. Looking for a cute way to make someone smile? Send “143” to your friend, family member, or partner to shower them with love and affection. If they don’t know what it means, just tell them to look it up!

    • You: “143, thanks for everything🥰”
    • Them: “143?”
    • You: “Google it🕵️”
    • Them: “Aww, right back at ya💗”
  2. 2

    Text “143” to your crush to secretly admit your feelings. If you’re too shy to be upfront, send “143” to your crush to see if they like you back. It’s a subtle way to make the first move and possibly take your relationship to the next level!

    • You: “143”
    • Them: “Same💘”
  3. 3

    Text “143” after asking someone to help you out. Nervous or scared to ask for a favor? Soften your request by adding “143” at the end of your message. It’s a sweet way to show appreciation toward someone, even if they haven’t agreed to anything. Throw in some cute emojis to really tug at their heartstrings and convince them to help you.

    • “Could you pick me up from the airport? 143🥺💖”
    • “Can you pick up my package on your way back? 143!”
    • “Would you mind grabbing me some grapes at the store?🍇 143🫶”
  4. 4

    Text “143” to an ex-friend or ex-partner to see if they still care about you. If they leave you on read or never reply, it probably means they’re done with you, but if they respond, feel free to rekindle your relationship. Ask them questions about why you broke up or reflect on the good times you had together—there’s no better time to reconnect with them (if that’s what you want)!

    • You: “143.”
    • Them: “?”
    • You: “Just wanted to let you know that I love you and hope you’re doing well💜”
    • Them: “Thanks. How have things been lately?”
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Section 4 of 5:

Other Numeric Codes Like “143”

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  1. Send any of these numeric codes to show love quickly. Texting codes, like “143,” make for a quick and efficient conversation. Use any of the following messages to express your feelings to the people that matter most:

    • 51921 = “I still love you”
    • 0087 = “Let me love you”
    • 5998 = “You’re my world”
    • 1502 = “Happy you exist”
    • 7098 = “Please notice me”
    • 3256 = “You’re so attractive”
    • 14553 = “I’ll never leave you”
    • 5291 = “I’ll risk my life for you”
    • 1038 = “Can’t stop loving you”
    • 045692 = “You are my favorite”
    • 6302 = “I’m starting to like you”
    • 15243 = “I want to be with you”
    • 6027 = “Help, I’m falling for you”
    • 5201314 224 = “I love you for a lifetime”
    • 1234 = “Only you can give me this feeling”
    • 831 224 = “I love you today, tomorrow, and forever”
    • 909 = “I’m so in love with you, but I don’t wanna ruin our friendship”

Section 5 of 5:

Other Popular Abbreviations

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  1. Use any of these abbreviations to spice up your text conversation. Let everyone know that you’re familiar with the latest lingo by sending one of the following abbreviations. It’s the best way to put your slang vocabulary into use!

    • FR = “For real”
    • RN = “Right now”
    • GTG = “Got to go”
    • JK = “Just kidding”
    • IDK = “I don’t know”
    • FTW = “For the win”
    • BTW = “By the way”
    • TBH = “To be honest”
    • BRB = “Be right back”
    • DND = “Do not disturb”
    • NGL” = “Not gonna lie”
    • LOL = “Laugh out loud”
    • MYF = “Miss your face”
    • TTYL = “Talk to you later”
    • ASL = “Age, sex, location”
    • SMH = “Shaking my head”
    • TMI = “Too much information”
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      • If you’re worried that your child is texting inappropriate code words, sit down with them and have a conversation. Discuss online safety rules, like the importance of not sharing personal information or explicit photos with strangers, and outline when texting might be an issue.[5]


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      • Alternatively, monitor your child’s smartphone use by implementing parental controls or purchasing a monitoring program that gives you access to their phone activity.


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      About This Article

      What Does “143” Mean in Texting? Definition, Examples & More (32)

      Reviewed by:

      Michelle Arbeau


      This article was reviewed by Michelle Arbeau and by wikiHow staff writer, Bailey Cho. Michelle Arbeau is a Numerologist & Life Strategist, and the CEO of Authentic You Media and Eleven Eleven Productions. She’s based in West Hollywood, California. With over 20 years of experience, she specializes in numerology, mediumship, and business advice. In 2015, Best Businesses named her the Best of West Hollywood Celebrity Numerologist, and she’s been hailed as the #1 Numerologist in the World and the #1 Celebrity Numerologist. This article has been viewed 17,566 times.

      7 votes - 63%

      Co-authors: 3

      Updated: June 4, 2024


      Categories: English Dialects and Slang

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