Numbers like 69, 1337, 420 Etc? Online Number Meanings

Here’s everything about online numbers with meaning and funny numbers like 69, 1337 or 420 that you see online:

Numbers like these are also known as numerical idioms, where the specific number means something that requires unique contextual understanding.

There are tons of them across the internet with some of the most common including 86, 101, 404, and 42.

Each has a meaning derived from a specific background. So if you want to learn all about online numbers that have meanings, then you’re in the right place. Keep reading!

What Online Numbers Have Meaning? (Numbers like 69)

A person trying to understand the meaning of numerical idioms and numbers like 69.

If you spend any time on the internet, you’re going to see numbers sometimes that seem completely out of place.

As you dig a little deeper, you’ll realize that other people are picking up on something that you just don’t know about.

This is a case of numerical idioms. An idiom is a word or phrase that is used in a way that has nothing to do with the literal meaning of the words.

A good example would be saying that you are feeling “under the weather.” If you were new to the English language, you would have no idea that this is talking about being sick.

That inference has nothing to do with what the words actually mean. There are countless idioms in English (and other languages too), but these days, you’ll find that idioms show up without any words at all.

There are numerical idioms, where a specific number means something that has nothing to do with the number itself. That’s what we’re talking about today—numerical idioms that are popular across the internet.

NSFW Warning

Let’s slow down and talk for a moment. This whole article is about number-based idioms on the internet. We’re talking about alternative meanings for numbers, and we’re basing it on online culture.

Inevitably, that means that some of these terms will be less than wholesome. In fact, if you’re familiar with the names in the title, you know that this discussion has to delve into topics that are not safe for work (NSFW).

This is your formal warning. I will use polite language to the extent possible, but the concepts themselves will touch on things like drugs, sex, and other things that you might not want your boss (or children) to read over your shoulder.

There won’t be any graphic pictures or anything like that, but this is your warning that we’re leaving the most polite regions of society for the sake of this discussion.

What Do the Other Online Numbers Mean? (13 Examples)

Happy smiling young female student using laptop at library, chee

With that out of the way, we can get into the meanings of these numbers. This won’t be an exhaustive list. If you’re willing to delve deeply enough into the random corners of the internet, you can find all kinds of things.

But, I’ll cover what I determined to be the most prominent number-based idioms around the internet. And, to be properly thorough about the whole thing, I’ll start by explaining the three numbers in the title: 1337, 420 and 69 number meaning.

Let’s get into it.

Number 1337 Meaning

Professional gamers playing and winning in first-person shooter together

First up is 1337. If you weren’t big into gaming in the early 00s, then this one might be unfamiliar. Still, it’s had some longevity since its heyday, and thankfully, it’s easy to understand, if a little weird.

The number is supposed to resemble the letters “LEET.” That clears it all up, right? If you’re not into the lingo, “LEET” is an alternative take on the word “elite.”

So, to be 1337 is to be elite, or very good. Then, because it’s internet culture, there’s also a subversive, sarcastic take on the number. You might also see it used as self-deprecating humor or in other sarcastic scenarios to mean the opposite of elite.

You can usually read between the lines and figure out if it’s being sincere or sarcastic with a few context clues.

Number 69 Meaning

The meaning of numbers like 69.

This is probably the most well-known numerical idiom across the internet. In this section, we will explore the meaning of number 69, which has become one of the funny numbers like 69 that hold a particular significance in internet culture. The number 69 is not just two digits placed next to each other; it has taken on a life of its own, much like other numbers with meaning like 69.

So, what’s behind the meaning of the number 69? Well, this number is often associated with a sexual innuendo, owing to the way the digits visually resemble two individuals engaged in a mutual intimate position. The 6 and 9 appear as mirror images of each other, much like the positioning of the two individuals in this specific act. The number is typically mentioned or used in jest or for its shock value.

Interestingly, the internet has a knack for turning simple numbers into cultural phenomena. Just as there are funny numbers like 69, there are also numbers with meaning like 69 that hold different kinds of significance, ranging from inside jokes to references of historical or popular culture events.

As we continue, it is important to be cognizant of the varied meanings these numbers can carry and how they evolve within online culture. Being aware of these numerical idioms helps in understanding and navigating conversations in the digital world.

If you really need a more explicit explanation, you can take the link below. I promise that there are no pictures, but the language is cruder than what you’ll find here.

Number 420 Meaning

Ground cannabis representing the meaning of the number 420, a popular numerical idiom like the number 69.

Next up is another extremely well-known numerical idiom similar to numbers like 69. This one still might not be safe for work (depending on where you live and work), but I can at least get through it with polite language.

420 is a reference to the consumption of pot. That’s really it. It can be used in a wide range of contexts, but it always comes back to marijuana.

This number has more of an interesting history than many of the others. The legend behind the reference is that 420 was the police code used to describe possession of pot offenses on the radio.

This has actually never been true with any major police force, but the legend persists regardless. Other legends suggest that 4:20 is a reference to a time to meet after school in order to smoke.

This is also difficult to confirm. Regardless of the true origin, these days, everyone knows that 420 is a reference to marijuana. 

Number 86 Meaning

Server waiter pointing to menu for patron customer helping at ta

This one is also pretty well-known, but it’s not quite as popular as some of the others. The term 86 means to be rid of or out of something.

It was common slang in the restaurant business for a long time, and anything that was 86 had to be removed from the menu due to a lack of supplies.

In a much darker context, 86 can be used to reference murder. When mobsters 86 someone, they are getting rid of that person.

This is another idiom where the origin is murky, but it seemed to gain popularity in the 1930s, and it has stuck around ever since.

Number 3.14 Meaning

Bearded nerdy university student having trouble while studying f

The math nerds among you will recognize this number as the first three digits of pi. The Greek letter, pi, is used in math to represent a specific irrational number that is related to the circumference of a circle.

But, that’s not what really matters for internet references. In many online uses, the number is used as a bit of a pun, since “pi” is pronounced just like “pie.”

You’ll see plenty of 3.14 jokes that are all about fruity desserts. The most notable example is that March 14 has come to be known as Pie Day (since it’s the date 3/14), and people often use it as an excuse to make math jokes and eat some tasty pie.

Number 666 Meaning

silhouette of guitar player in action on stage in front of conce

But then we go from pie to 666, so this is a bit of a roller coaster. In case you’ve never heard of this reference, 666 is known as the number of the “beast” in Christian teachings.

The book of Revelation (the last book in the Bible) is full of predictions and prophecy. Among those is a reference to a beast that will have a special mark and will be known by the number 666.

This is a pretty well-known Christian reference, but in the online world, it has been taken to a different context.

The number is used to represent anything demonic or satanic, which means it is also used to say that things are bad.

In an even deeper bit of online culture, it’s also thrown around a lot in heavy rock and metal circles, as the music often references satanism and other non-Christian religious points of view, often as a form of rebellion.

So, depending on the context, you might see this number thrown around as a reference to the Bible, to say that something is demonic or bad, or as a reference to heavy metal music.

It’s all over the place, and that is internet culture in a nutshell.

Number 13/52 Meaning

Crop black woman typing on laptop

Ok. This one is . . . uncomfortable at best. I’m not here to get political, so I’m going to dance lightly around this reference. I’m only even including it because it has become dramatically more popular in the last few years.

The exact number 13/52, and its counterpart 13/90, is a reference to a statistical claim about the racial distribution of certain crimes in the United States.

This is a supercharged reference, so I’m not going to get into where the claim originated and how accurate it is or isn’t.

There’s no friendly way to have that conversation, and I’m trying to at least keep this article friendly. To put it lightly, the claims around this number are argued hotly.

The real point of mentioning it is that these two numbers are most frequently thrown around in political debates, and not the nice kinds of political debates.

Suffice it to say that when you see this number come up, conversations are likely to turn very ugly very quickly, if they haven’t already.

Number 42 Meaning

Happy multiethnic business women working together online on a laptop in corporate office.

On a much, much lighter note, 42 is one of the happier references on the whole list. This number represents the answer to “the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.”

This actually comes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In the story, a group of researchers builds a supercomputer to figure out the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.

The computer comes up with the answer “42.” The researchers then extend even more effort to figure out exactly what question 42 is answering.

The whole thing is light satire and meant to be funny. In internet culture, you’ll see this number thrown around as an answer to literally any question since it’s the answer to everything.

Sometimes, it’s thrown out simply to reference The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy because a lot of people like the franchise.

Number 20 Meaning

Cheerful young woman using laptop having coffee at desk in home office

You’ve probably heard this reference at some point. It relates to the phrase, “What’s your 20?” In such a context, 20 is referring to a position. This is radio lingo that people use to find each other, in a physical sense.

Online, it can be used in plenty of contexts. It might be a legitimate question as to your current location. It might be a bit more metaphorical, asking how you feel about a topic. In either case, that’s what 20 is usually referencing.

Number 101 Meaning

Excited busy woman talking with colleague in video chat

Another that you may have heard before, 101 is referencing college class nomenclature. Traditionally, a 101 class at a college or university is an introductory course.

You might have Math 101, English 101, or any number of other courses with the number assigned to it. Any such class is intended for first-year students and to introduce a topic.

101 classes are notoriously simple, overview-style looks at any given subject. This idea has transformed into a context all its own. Online, anything with 101 after it is generally trying to inform you that you’re getting an introductory look at an idea.

So, you might see something like Computer Science 101, where someone is trying to explain the basics of Computer Science. There are countless instances.

Number 404 Meaning

Indoor shot of frustrated female graduate student in casual clothes keeping hands on head, feeling panic and stressed out while working on diploma project, facing deadline, using laptop computer

This is the most internet idiom of them all, as it references a common internet error. The Page 404 error is what you see when you search for a website that your computer cannot find.

This usually happens for one of two reasons: the website has been taken down, or you have a typo. Either way, most people who use the internet see this error number at some point, and because of that, it became ripe for idiom usage.

The error message is mostly used satirically. You can put up a 404 to suggest that you don’t understand something or that something is missing from a phrase or situation. You can browse Error: 404 memes, and you’ll see a lot of variety. 

Number 411 Meaning

Happy woman talking on the phone

This is another idiom that easily predates the internet. 411 was the number for “information” on old phone lines. Actually, it still is the number for information (I had to look that up).

Basically, you can dial 411 to get to a phone directory to find someone you are trying to reach. Since the internet, this literal use has really fallen by the wayside, but once upon a time, it was a reliable way to get information on phone numbers and contact information.

Because of the literal name of the “information” directory, 411 evolved into something else. The number is used to literally replace the word “information” in sentences and phrases.

You might have heard the phrase, “What’s the 411?” That is intended to ask, “What’s the information?” Adding a little more context, the question might translate to “What do I need to know?” You see this usage of 411 a lot on the internet.

Number 5150 Meaning

Depressed woman sitting on the floor

The last number is a little less popular than the others, but it’s a good way to finish this. Typically, 5150 is used to describe someone as being crazy or disturbed. It’s not intended to be a nice description.

This comes from a California law code. A 5150 is a code where a person can be involuntarily held in a psychiatric hospital ward for up to 72 hours.

So if someone is a 5150 (in slang terms), they’re mentally unfit enough to be hospitalized against their will. 


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

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