Parental Tips

Just a Slang or Cause for Concern: What Does ‘KMS’ Mean?

Teens and young people use a range of acronyms in their text messages and online conversations. Some are easy to understand, like LOL and OMG, but others, like KMS, can be trickier. This guide will dive into the full KMS meaning, exploring the origin and usage of this term.


What Does KMS Mean?

kms meaning


First, let’s begin with a simple definition. What does KMS mean? What does KMS stand for? If you’ve been asking those kinds of questions, this part of the guide will provide all the answers and clarity that you’ve been looking for.


Just like LOL, KMS is one of those commonly used acronyms on social media apps, along with various websites and online communities. It stands for “kill myself” or “killing myself”.

That may seem very dramatic and scary at first glance, but it’s important to note that, in many cases, the KMS acronym isn’t actually used to refer to someone who is contemplating suicide or self-harm. Instead, it’s often used as an exaggerated, ironic, humorous phrase to describe when people are feeling very bored, embarrassed, or something similar.


It’s often hard to trace the exact origins of internet phrases and slang terms, but it’s believed that KMS first entered popular usage around 2009. It seems to have originated on the social media site Twitter, which had a strict limit of 140 characters per “tweet” at the time. Because users had such a small amount of characters to play with, they often used shortened words or acronyms.

It’s believed that this is one of the reasons why KMS started to be used so frequently around Twitter—it was a concise, three-character way for people to jokingly express feelings of boredom, embarrassment, awkwardness, or misfortune, without having to use longer words or phrases instead.

What Does KMS Mean in a Text Message and Chats?

what does kms mean on snapchat

Oleksandra Kharkova/

How is the phrase “KMS” used? This is the important part, as it’s easy to assume that the phrase may be used in one way or another, when it can actually be used in many ways, ranging from not very serious to deadly serious. Indeed, in some cases, it can simply be used as a joke, but in other cases, it may be truly used as an expression of intent to self-harm.

Like a lot of other slang phrases and acronyms, teenagers can use KMS in a wide range of situations to encapsulate various feelings and ideas. In many situations, it’s not supposed to be taken literally. Teens may use it simply in a jokey or humorous way when they’re having a bad day or telling an awkward story to a friend, for instance.

A teen might send a message, for example, saying “I asked Stacey to the prom this morning. She said no. KMS.” or could use phrases like “Can’t go to the party tonight because of this science assignment from Mr. Jenks. KMS.”

As shown in these examples, KMS is very commonly used ironically. It can also be used for everyday annoyances, awkward situations, and even simple, mundane things like a store being closed or not having any ice cream in the school cafeteria. To many adults and older generations, this can seem shocking, as suicide isn’t generally seen as something lighthearted. But, to younger generations, such dramatic topics can be a source of humor.

However, it’s also worth noting that KMS isn’t always used ironically. It can, in rare situations, be used to truly express a person’s feelings of depression and thoughts of suicide or self-harm. Examples of this might include phrases like “I feel so lonely all the time. KMS…” or “Nobody understands me. Thinking about KMS.”

Due to the vastly different ways this phrase can be used, it’s vital for parents to be aware if their kids are using it and take appropriate action to find out how and why the phrase is being used. In many cases, it’ll simply be a “joke” among the teen’s friends. But in other cases, it could be a true cry for help that needs to be taken seriously and responded to.

How Is It Used In Social Media?

In terms of where the phrase “KMS” is used, it often appears in text communications on social media sites. Lots of teens use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok to communicate with one another, leaving comments or sending direct messages (DMs) to each other via these services.

KMS is a term that may pop up in comments or messages that are written, shared, and exchanged among young people on these kinds of social sites. Parents are therefore encouraged to keep an eye on how their kids make use of social media and monitor the usage of phrases that may be a cause for concern, such as KMS.

How Do You Know If KMS Is a Joke?

what is kms in text

Ground Picture/

As explained above, KMS is a difficult slang term since it can either be a lighthearted joke or a serious cry for help, and it can be tricky to tell the two apart. However, there are some tips and strategies you can try to keep in mind to discern between a serious KMS and a more lighthearted one.

  • Context: Context is the most valuable indicator of whether or not a person is being serious when they use a term like KMS. If they say something like “Can’t beat the boss in this video game. KMS” or “This homework is impossible, KMS!” then they’re probably not seriously talking about self-harm. But if they refer to feeling lonely, depressed, scared, or something similar, the term may be more serious.
  • Emotional State: It’s also important to consider the person’s emotional state when they use a term like KMS. If a person appears to be generally happy and lighthearted, then there’s a good chance that they could be using the phrase “KMS” in a casual and jokey way with their friends. However, if the person has a history of depression, loneliness, or feeling left out and unsure of themselves, the phrase could have a serious meaning.
  • Habits: You can also get a feel for how a person uses “KMS” by looking at their texting habits. Many young people are in the habit of using acronyms like KMS very often and end lots of messages or statements with those three letters. To them, KMS may simply be another text term like “LOL” or “OMG”. However, if the person has never or rarely used KMS before and suddenly starts using it, that could be a cause for concern.
  • Asking the Question: Ultimately, one of the best ways to find out if someone is being serious when they use a potentially worrying term like KMS is to ask them. However, this often has to be done with care and tact, as someone who is genuinely suicidal or depressed may not be too willing to share their deepest and darkest thoughts or emotions right away.

Note: Even with these tips and tricks, it’s important to remember that people’s emotions are often hard to read, and many people hide their depression or suicidal thoughts very well. So, even if someone seems to be using “KMS” as a joke, it’s still important to take it seriously and keep an eye on them or communicate with them to learn more about their mental state.

What Are Signs That “KMS” Refers to Self-Harm or Suicide?

what does kms stand for


There are several warning signs or “red flags” you can watch out for to also help you determine whether or not someone is being serious when they use a term like KMS.

  • History of Depression or Suicidal Thoughts: One of the most common warning signs that KMS may be used seriously is if a person has genuinely had a history of self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and mental health problems like depression. People with a past of harming themselves tend to be more likely to do so again and could be serious when they talk about killing themselves.
  • Discussion of Actual Self-Harm: Another very clear sign that KMS needs to be taken seriously is if the person using the term talks about real self-harm. They might openly discuss cutting or hurting themselves with trusted friends, for example, which is usually a sign that they’re in a very distressed emotional state and would benefit from professional care and family support.
  • Emotional Language: If KMS is used alongside jokey things or trivial matters, it doesn’t usually need to be taken seriously. But when it’s used alongside very emotional language and terms that talk about loneliness, depression, anxiety, fear, stress, frustration, and feeling left out or even being abused, there’s a much greater chance that the person using the term really means it.
  • Difficult Life Situations: You can also gauge how likely a person is to really mean “KMS” by assessing their life situation at the time they use the phrase. If someone is in a difficult moment, like going through a breakup or dealing with the loss of a loved one, for example, then “KMS” is more likely to be serious. This also applies to people who are struggling with abuse situations, addiction, and so on.

How to Discover If Your Kid Is Using the KMS Slang Word?

It can be tricky for parents to discover what kinds of slang terms their kids are using and how they communicate with their friends and peers online or in person. Usually, there are only two clear ways to find out: either talk with your child and ask them about some of the terms they’re using, or look at their social media profiles and monitor the language they use when chatting with others, which they may consider an invasion of privacy.

How to Talk with Your Kid about Slang?

Kids360 app

Parents need to be able to talk with their children about slang terms like KMS, but it can also be quite a challenge if you’re not sure how to start. A good way to begin is to start a simple, lighthearted discussion with your teen about the kinds of slang terms that you used to use back when you were younger and invite them to share some of the terms they use.

You can also simply ask your child questions like “I heard one of the other kids from your school say “KMS” the other day. Do you know what that means?” Often, teens will be happy to take an opportunity to educate their parents about the latest terms and phrases that are being used among their friends and peers.

another method you can try is using parent-friendly apps, like Kids360, to monitor and control your child’s usage of certain mobile applications and social media platforms. Kids360 gives you the power to limit your child’s screen time and even decide which apps they’re allowed to use, and for how long. It makes it much easier for you to control their exposure to potentially damaging and harmful terms, like KMS.

Summing Up: Understanding KMS

Overall, the meaning of KMS is clear to see. The letters themselves simply stand for “kill myself.” However, understanding the various ways in which KMS is used can be much more challenging for parents, guardians, teachers, and anyone else who sees a young person using this particular slang term either online or in person.

To some people, the idea of saying “kill myself” is very serious and dramatic, but many young people often throw around this term quite lightly, even using it as a joke among themselves. It’s therefore important to know how the term is being used and communicate with young people who use it to discover their real feelings.

That’s why you should consider sharing this guide around to educate and inform other parents, and possibly even save a young person from serious self-harm.


what does kms mean over text

What is KMS slang for?

KMS is a slang acronym that stands for “kill myself” or “killing myself.” It’s often used ironically or humorously by young people, but can also be a genuine reference to thoughts or ideas of self-harm and suicide.

What does being KMS mean?

If someone says “I am KMS” that generally means “I am killing myself.” The person using the phase may not genuinely mean that they’re committing suicide, as the phrase can be used in both ironic and serious ways.

What is KMS text?

KMS is a slang term often used among younger generations when communicating via text or online on social media sites. It stands for “kill myself.”

What is the full form of the abbreviation “KMS”?

The full form of the acronym KMS is “kill myself” or “killing myself.”

The picture on the front page: Alfredo Lopez/

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