What is TFW: Why and When is it Used?

‘TFW’, is an abbreviation for ‘The Feel When’. People who are fond of social networking and texting habitually use this texting slang to indicate their emotional state regarding a certain thing. This could be in the form of expression, for instance ‘TFW you finally get a chance to be back home.’

Instead of saying, what a bliss it is to be back home, you can simply use an alternative to this by using the acronym ‘TFW’ which will be understood by the person at the other end. Basically, it is one of the Internet made slangs that somebody invented and it caught on with the internet. Some similar slangs include JFC, FW, etc.

More Examples on the use of ‘TFW’

‘TFW you start studying for your exams one hour before the paper’

Now when a student will say this, they will not find the need to explain the feeling further because it will be understood by their friends or family that either they are stressed out or not bothered by the lack of time to prepare for their exam.

One of the reasons why people use this acronym ‘TFW’ is because they know that the person receiving this message will be able to relate to their feeling when they say  ‘TFW you get locked out of your room’. This adds a bit of humor to your expression.

How to Use ‘TFW’ in a sentence?

For most of the examples that are given above,  TFW is mostly used at the beginning of the sentence before you write down the main body of your sentence. For example, ‘ “TFW” you forget to bring your charger’. In a sentence structure like the last example, the acronym can only be used at the beginning of the sentence. Using it elsewhere will not add the impact or give meaning to the sentence which it is intends to add.

Who Uses the acronym, ‘TFW’, the most?

Social media is most commonly used by the young generation. Similarly, texting is also a habit of the young minds. It isn’t that the adults or people of an older age don’t use these mediums. It’s just that they don’t use them at the consistency of the younger lot which is why acronyms and texting slangs are most frequently used by the young generation.

The young generation does not focus on the grammatical errors that they would make in a text or a comment. Thus, this encourages them to use such abbreviations which would be enough for them to convey their message.

How Did TFW emerge as One of the Most Famous Texting Slangs

It was rumored, that the very first time this phrase or meme of ‘that feel’ emerged the internet approximately in 2010. However, it was later in 2010 that the person who created this meme proclaimed that he was the designer behind it.

The meme which became viral too soon had a picture of a bald man which gained popularity amongst the youth. The basic idea behind that meme was to show how one feels, and people started linking their feelings to this meme. And gradually, one meme emerged from another. For instance, there were memes on ‘the feel’ followed by a funny statement like ‘that feel coaster’.

You can never be sure about how and what originated a texting slang as it is all linked to trends. However, the phrases like ‘I know how you feel man’ and ‘I know that feel man’, somewhat represents the emotions that ‘Person A’ can feel, although it is ‘Person B’ going through that feeling. And that connectedness that people feel with this certain phrase is why it became so popular amongst the youth and ‘TFW’ one of the most commonly used texting slang/abbreviations.

Such memes always act as a supportive stance on the way people feel, and their emotions, which links pretty much everyone together. And that is where the acronym TFW can be originated from.

Alternate Forms that People use to say TFW

Teenagers or young adults don’t just use the acronym in writing, but also use it through its different forms like GIFs and memes pictures. This adds up to the humor attached to the feeling, and thus people using is even more often.

TFW can be defined as an acronym that says more than just the words that are visible. Just how it is said that a picture could say so much more, similar is the case with the acronym ‘TFW’.

The creativity with which the young individuals have used this 3 letter acronym, and have paired it with GIFs and memes is amazing.

Where to Find TFW memes and GIFs

From Google to Facebook and all other social media forums like Twitter would have a huge pool of TFW memes and GIFs that could be forwarded, shared and posted on all the different websites. You can even create your own TFW memes and share them with your friends.


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Habiba Rehman


Major love for reading, but writing is what keeps me going. Dream to publish my own novels someday.
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