Everyone knows that numbers are commonly used as letters in "text speak" and in internet passwords (e.g., h3lp, p455w0rd). What is less well known, however, is that numbers are also used to represent whole words due to how they sound.
A good example of this is the term 555, which means "ha, ha, ha" or laughing. This works because the Thai word for 5 is "ha." Therefore, 555 is "ha, ha, ha."
Love Messages Using Numbers in Chinese
Using numbers for their sound is common in Chinese text slang between partners. When the numbers below are read in Chinese, they sound remarkably like the Chinese for the term shown to the right.
Using numbers in texting and messaging is not new. Here is a list of common words that children since the 1950s have been producing using their calculators. With these numbers, the terms only work when the calculator is shown upside down. (Note: A decimal point is used whenever the first number is a zero, otherwise the zero disappears.)