What does 143 mean in online chat and text messages?

I love you

143 is code for "I love you." The numbers 1, 4, and 3 correspond to the number of letters in each of the three words:

  • I          1 letter
  • Iove   4 letters
  • you    3 letters

What is the origin of 143?

The legend of 143 dates back to the 1890s, when a new lantern was installed at Minots Ledge Light, a lighthouse near Boston Harbor. It always flashed once, then four times, and then three times, before repeating its sequence.

Because the lighthouse's flashes corresponded to the characters in the phrase "I love you," people in the area began associating the flashes and the number 143 with the phrase. However, it's unknown exactly who originally came up with this association.

One story posits that young couples were the first to assign meaning to Minots Ledge Light's flashes. They apparently referred to the lighthouse as Lover's Light. Another story says the flashes were a message from the lighthouse keeper to his children while he was working.

Whatever the case, 143 is used in the modern era to mean "I love you" in text, chat, and social media messages.


C u soon, 143!
1432 =)

143 means "I love you"

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Updated March 13, 2023

143 definition by Slang.net

This page explains what the abbreviation "143" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slang.net team.

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