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

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



  A man makes a delightful face that is perfect for
Ranta Images / Shutterstock

TFW is an Internet shortcut that you will normally find on social networking sites and in memes across the web. But what does TFW mean, where does the acronym come from and how do you use it?

That Feel When

TFW is an Internet acronym that stands for "That Feel When" a funny or emotional image (such as the one shown above) used to provide an emotional context or commentary on a situation.

In a sense, TFW is more like a meme than an actual acronym that you use in a sentence like FOMO. It usually follows a strict format in which a sentence beginning with TFW is often (but not always) accompanied by an emotional photo. This sentence may be relevant to your life as "TFW flooded your bathroom" or it may just be a joke, like "TFW your friends also know Pennywise the Clown".

That does not mean that TFW always follows a strict meme format. TFW indicates to readers that a message or post has an emotional context. So it's possible that "TFW" means something to itself without a picture or message attached.

In some cases, you can respond to a ridiculous or hateful Facebook with a simple "TFW". People Who Know It What TFW means should mean that you say, "This post is absolutely crazy!" Likewise, you could respond to an unexpected message from an ex with "TFW" or reply to a funny photo with "TFW".

Etymology of TFW

Some people swear that TFW actually stands for "the face, if". And in a sense, they might be right.

In 2009, people on the 4chan music card (called / mu /) started saying "MFW" or "my face when". Strangely enough, MFW was used in the same way as TFW is used today. People posted a funny photo of a face along with a phrase like "MFW People Call Chess a Sport".

  A screenshot of the Google Trends page for
Google Trends shows that the use of MFW after 2010 has peaked and has since been surpassed by TFW. Google Trends

Around the same time, the word "feeling" developed as a slang for the word "feeling." Memes such as "I know that Emotional Brother" spread on the Internet, and the "Feels Guy" The reaction picture became an everyday part of the Internet and nerd culture.

Like MFW, the Mem Feels Guy was used to respond to emotional situations. But while MFW usually exudes disgust or awe, Mem Feel's Guy was used to describe a sense of shame, doubt, sadness or emasculation.

  A photo of the Feeling Guy.
Do you recognize this face? It's the old Feels guy. Know Your Meme

Obviously, these two similar ideas merged into TFW in 2010 or 2011 – at the time TFW was first properly defined in the Urban Dictionary. While the grammatical use of TFW has not changed significantly since then, the word has been much broader. It is a useful shorthand for expressing emotions on the Internet, a place notorious for its emotional opacity.

How to use TFW?

When you throw TFW at the beginning of a sentence, readers intuitively look for emotional context. You could say "TFW, it's not Bologna in the fridge" or "TFW, you're almost home and the lights are on." In both cases, people will try to give the sentences emotional meaning.

As long as you can Use these sentences for yourself. TFW works best with a photo or GIF. You can technically use any photo, but it's best to use photos of emotional faces. The more emotional the photo, the easier it is for people to judge the right emotional context based on their use of TFW.

  A man stares at his laptop and wonders how to use TFW.
TFW find a cool new word, but does not know how to use it. fizkes / Shutterstock

As mentioned above, you can use TFW without any accompanying words or photos. First, make sure the situation has an obvious emotional context. While a single "TFW" is a conversation about dogs, it does not make much sense to answer "TFW" to an annoying or mean-spirited text message. This may be an idea like "Get out of my inbox" or "How do you expect me?" to answer it? "


TFW find a whole new world of crazy Internet words. If you only want to know some of the languages ​​that are commonly used on the Internet, read our articles on words like TLDR and YEET.


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