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Home / Tips and Tricks / What does "NSFW" mean and how do you use it?

What does "NSFW" mean and how do you use it?



  NSFW written with Scrabble letters
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NSFW is a strange, multi-faceted Internet acronym that has found its way into Internet articles and social media posts. But what does NSFW mean, where does it come from and how do you use it? Do not worry ̵

1; this article is SFW.

Not sure about the work

The acronym NSFW stands for "not safe for work". When used properly, NSFW is a warning that contains inappropriate content on a link to a webpage, video, photo, or audio clip. Although the word is usually associated with pornography, it is often used as a warning for violent, objectionable, offensive or even politically motivated content.

Despite its literal meaning (not sure for the work), the NSFW acronym is used to save you from any kind of public embarrassment (or, as you know, from traumatizing your children). You can see it in the title of a YouTube video, in the header of an email, or in front of an outbound link on a website or news article.

In some cases, NSFW is used to indicate that a web page may create ] You feel uncomfortable – so far as we are dealing with a word. In these situations, NSFW is sometimes accompanied by a "trigger word" or "TW" label. For example, a video that contains detailed images of wars may be labeled "NSFW TW: War" or a similar term.

NSFW Etymology

It used to be relatively easy to avoid inappropriate content. R-rated films, dirty magazines were labeled as such, and The Maury Show was opened with the warning that you should throw children out of the room as soon as possible.

But in the age of the internet Everyone can create content. And as you'd expect, users rarely have to flag their photos, videos, and web pages as inappropriate. (To be fair, people usually publish their "inappropriate" content in communities where they are actually deemed appropriate.)

  A little boy hides his sister's eyes on the computer.
Yiorgos GR / Shutterstock

Angle, NSFW looks like a modern incarnation of "This show contains scenes that may offend some viewers." And while this is being used today, the word actually arose in response to a very specific problem

As reported by VICE, the word NSFW comes from the culture of the Snopes.com forum. In 1998, a woman came to the forum to complain that users should mark inappropriate posts as "NFBSK" – "not for British schoolchildren". Maybe she should have bought a copy of the Net Nanny software.

This complaint turned into a Snopes-In-Joke that was so funny that Snopes decided to set up an NFBSK forum. (You do not need to search for it, it's basically a one-year South Park episode.)

NFBSK was known as a joke, but it was a serious problem that in other words could not be described. The internet is dirty, but it is everywhere. Over time, NFBSK slowly got into countless forums and chat rooms. It has become easier to "NSFW", and now it is in the Webster dictionary!

When do you say NSFW?

Unlike other Internet jargon, using the word NSFW is very easy. You can use it as a label or as a literal abbreviation in a sentence. That's all.

As a label, NSFW is only useful when it comes to before the inappropriate content you are sending. It belongs in the header of an e-mail, a reddit post or a website. And although websites like YouTube like to play videos automatically, it's still a good idea to add "NSFW" to the title of inappropriate videos.

  A man looks disgusted. Obviously, he has opened some unlabeled NSFW content.
fizkes / Shutterstock

And yes, you should also do that for text messages. Just add "NSFW" to messages that contain links to inappropriate content. If you attach photos or videos to a message, ask the recipient if they can receive NSFW content before clicking this button. (If you feel that this will make you uncomfortable, you probably should not send them inappropriate content anyway.)

As a literal abbreviation, simply use NSFW if it is grammatically considered "non-workable." If someone sends you a link, for example, you might ask, "Is this NSFW?"

We have mentioned the term SFW (safe for work) earlier in this article. As with NSFW, the word SFW can be used as a term or as a literal abbreviation. You can tag messages, emails or links as SFW and ask your friends the following questions: "Is this SFW?" some other crazy words? As with NSFW, acronyms such as TLDR and FOMO
are used regularly in news articles and in your favorite social media. They are worth knowing and do not worry, they are SFW.


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