What Does the Term "DS" Mean?

It's an online shortcut for parents to refer to their sons

A father plays with his son, demonstrating the expressive role that is a part of parenting.

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DS is an abbreviation for "dear son" or "darling son." It's part of internet slang that has developed for use on forums, social networks, email, and texting.

Meanings of DS

DS is an affectionate term used by parents when communicating about their sons. Examples include:

  • My DS is coming into town this week.
  • My DS just got a new bike and he is so happy.
  • DS and I are headed out to the game now.

DS has also been used to mean "dear sister" in online conversations, but much less often than "dear son." When in doubt as to the meaning, use the context and the sender to determine which it is.

Other Acronym Meanings

Similar family acronyms include:

Other common relationship acronyms are:

When to Use Internet Acronyms

DS, like other acronyms, is fine to use in personal texts and casual messages between family and friends. But avoid using them in professional communications (exceptions would be business acronyms such as LMK, EOD, and OOO).

Some acronyms have spilled over into our spoken language. You may hear a teen mention her BFF or a mother refer to her daughter as her DD in a conversation. These acronyms and others have joined LOL (laughing out loud) and OMG (oh my god). DS, however, isn't commonly heard in spoken language.