What does 143 mean?

143 is a popular online numeronym, representing the phrase “I Love You”.

The numbers are meant to represent the number of letters in each word;

I (1) L-O-V-E (4) Y-O-U (3)


What's the origin of 143?

There is a legend behind the origin of “143”, ranging back to the turn of the 1900’s, when the Minot’s Ledge lighthouse in Massachusetts would introduce the 1-4-3 flash sequence.

The legend says that Mary Thompson, wife of Winfield Scott Thompson, told their children that the flashes were their father’s way of telling them “I love you”.

Spread & Usage

How did 143 spread?

“143” started spreading as a way of saying “I love you” in the 1980’s, when pagers were introduced in people’s lives.

Simultaneously, it also appeared online, in early forums and chatrooms.

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