What Does 143 Mean?
143 means “I Love You.”
The abbreviation 143 represents the number of letters in each word of the phrase “I Love You.”
143 is used in texts or instant messaging as an affirmation of devotion. It allows brevity and also allows the speaker to say “I Love You” without suffering the embarrassment felt by some people when actually saying or typing those words. For example:
Jo: Thanks. I love me too.
According to popular belief, the use of the numbers 143 to mean “I Love You” dates back to 1915, when Winfield Scott Thompson was the keeper at Minots Ledge lighthouse, off the coast of Cohasset and Scituate, Massachusetts (to the southeast of Boston Harbor).
The lighthouse flash sequence was 1-4-3, and Thompson’s family could see the light flashing at night.
Thompson’s wife told their children that it was the “I Love You flash,” their father’s way of saying he loved them. The tale has proven so popular that the Minots Ledge lighthouse is nicknamed the “I Love You Lighthouse.”
Other ways of expressing love with numbers include:
381 = I Love You (3 words, 8 letters, 1 meaning).
721 = Love You (7 letters, 2 words, 1 meaning).
831 = I Love You (8 letters, 3 words, 1 meaning).
1437 = I Love You Forever (number of letters in each word).
14344 = I Love You Very Much (number of letters in each word).
Video Summarizing 143
Here’s a short video explaining how to use 143:
Image for 143
When I write 143, I mean this:
I (1) Love (4) You (3).
Summary of Key Points
“I Love You” is the most common definition for 143 on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
- Definition: I Love You
- Type: Cyber Term
- Guessability: Guessable
- Typical Users: Adults and Teenagers
An Academic Look at 143
143 is classified as a cyber term as opposed to an initialism abbreviation or an acronym.
Cyber term terms were introduced for brevity. However, with the advent of predictive texting and on-screen keyboards, they are now mostly employed for fun.
Cyber terms differ from icons because they are not pictorial representations.
What Did We Say before Texting and Social Media?
The use of 143 to mean “I Love You” long pre-dates the digital era.
Using Numbers in Texts
This video shows the different ways that numbers are used in “text speak”:
meaning of 143
mean of 143