What is the word for "meant to be understood by only someone"?


"Everyone could see his WhatsApp status, but only she could understand"

I want to know if there's a word for the thingamajig "only one could understand it"

  • have you heard the words cryptic arcane?
    – Mrt
    Commented Oct 1, 2018 at 1:19

4 Answers 4


The word you may be looking for is


You wouldn't understand, it's an inside joke.

If there's a secret that only a few people know, the ones that do know are "insiders".


A coded message is understandable only by someone who knows the code. This code can be literal (using a code-book or an encryption algorithm) or metaphorical (using words or making references to experiences that have a personal meaning to both the speaker and the intended recipient of the message).

Another metaphor that is sometimes used is a dog whistle. A literal dog whistle makes a noise that is very high-pitched and is outside the range of human hearing, but within the range that dogs can hear. A metaphorical dog whistle uses vocabulary or references that only a small, targeted number of people will understand. Generally, a dog whistle is meant for an entire demographic group (usually people with a shared set of beliefs), not just a single person.


Jargon can be good choice.

jargon - special words and phrases that are used by particular groups of people, especially in their work


Esoteric is probably what you're looking for.

It's defined by Lexico as:

Esoteric: Intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest.

Example: Esoteric philosophical debates.

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