What Does “IYKYK” Mean, and How to Use It?

Using slang terms is now trendy on the internet. The acronym IYKYK has been around for a while and you may have seen it on social media sites. If you’re unfamiliar with this term, it’s easy to become confused.

Nowadays, IYKYK is most commonly used on TikTok to tell inside jokes over the internet. Even the hashtag #iykyk on TikTok gets so popular that recently it has 5.1 billion views.

In this guide, we’ll explain the meaning of this phrase and how to use IYKYK in the conversation.


What does IYKYK mean?

IYKYK means “If you know, you know”. This acronym implies that the user has indicated some kind of inside knowledge about a particular experience. It’s used with a secret joke that makes sense to some people and makes no sense to the rest.

You can find the term IYKYK widely in Instagram reels, memes and TikTok videos as a hashtag that received billions of views.

Where does the slang IYKYK come from?

Though the slang IYKYK became popular in 2020 due to a rapidly growing Tiktok hashtag, it was originally defined by Urban Dictionary in December 2016.

Urban Dictionary defines IYKYK as, “If you were there, you’d know, but if you weren’t, you wouldn’t. Simple teenage stuff”.

However, not all the time this slang is used to express the same meaning.

The main objective of using IYKYK is to make the audience curious. If you post an image, video or quote with “IYKYK” in the caption, your followers and friends will be interested to know what you’re talking about.

How do you use IYKYK?

You can use IYKYK while chatting casually via text with your partner, friends or colleagues. As long as you’re not writing an official document or texting formally, you can freely use this phrase.

However, in verbal communication, it’s better not to use acronyms except during casual conversation.

The acronym IYKYK means the same on every social media platform from TikTok, Snapchat, Twitter to Instagram. People most of the time use it to refer to a meme, show or fan club. It can also be used to imply an inside joke that only a few can understand.

When you use IYKYK, make sure it should be something that others know about. A movie not everyone has seen, a quote many would not know, a reference that only some friends can understand, only at situations like those you can feel free to use IYKYK in the caption.

Examples of using IYKYK on Social Media

Here are some examples of using IYKYK on social media as a caption.

  • The term seems to be hit among the college students who’re a part of Greek life. A Twitter user @BParroquin tweeted using the following hashtag,

Greek life really prepared me for this quarantine #iykyk.

  • Another tweet by @estefaaany105,

Snapchat memories really do kill me sometimes #iykyk.

Here IYKYK has been used to imply about the prom being canceled to Snapchat memories.

You can use IYKYK in the caption like as follows:

  • That trip to Los Angelos was definitely memorable #iykyk.
  • Well, I’m never going on a date with a shy guy again #iykyk.
  • When the rumors turn out to be true #iykyk.
  • When the finale is nothing but a garbage #iykyk.

So, you see there’re multiple ways you can use IYKYK in social media to make people curious. The main motive behind the slang is that you don’t give anything away, rather it’s made to be cryptic. To know what the post meant with IYKYK, you had to be there to understand that inside joke.

Hopefully, you have now understood what does IYKYK mean. It’s an interesting acronym to throw some jokes to the friends or viewers, where only some can understand it but others don’t. So, if you get the meaning, try using it in your posts and get the attention of others.