What does NSFW mean?

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Manasi Khandekar
An absolute ambivert who loves small cafes, binge watching shows, travelling and wants cheesecakes to be made the national food worldwide. Manasi is the Khaleesi of her dream world and will always ask you, "How you doing?!"

It is the perfect acronym when you want to caution someone. With this, you have been warned. Proceed the article at your own risk! NSFW is the abbreviated term for the phrase Not Safe For Work.  It is used when the content that you receive is not work friendly and can cause immense problems for you if you open it in front of your superiors. The abbreviation is usually placed in the subject headline (if sent via email) or the very first text if sent on a texting app.

Quick History

The acronym though doesn’t have an extensive history, but the very first usage was spotted on an online social news site called FARK In the year 2000. Later in the year 2007, the founder of the site, Drew Curtis, applied for trademarking this abbreviation but the application was later rejected.

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Maybe, this was when the slang slowly started gaining popularity, and now it is everywhere! It is usually used as a word of caution in texts, emails, apps like Snapchat, Reddit and 9gag and also in fanfictions, for their extreme content.

When the content is disturbing, no matter where you view it, the acronym gets an upgrade and is called NSFL which means, NOT SAFE FOR LIFE.

Usage

This abbreviation can be your knight in a shining armour since it saves you from potential embarrassment amongst your colleagues and boss. The slang is usually sent as a warning sign for an inappropriate joke or video that might contain sexual content or abusive language in it.

The abbreviation is not just limited to your office setting. Today, it also has expanded its horizons to your home environment. Now imagine if you are sitting with your grandparents and suddenly you receive a meme that has racist comments or even worse a non-veg joke. It can be very harmful and possibly lead to you having an earful from your grandparents.

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The slang is very clearly used amongst friends and hence is preferably used in an informal setting. A friend in need, is a friend indeed, right?

Alternate meanings of NSFW

The most accepted full form for this acronym is Not Safe For Work. But several users have given it a range of variations. Some of them are:

  1. Not Suitable For Women
  2. Now Show Friends and Workmates
  3. Not Suitable For Work
  4. Not Suitable For Wusses
  5. Not Searching For Women (in the dating slang)
  6. Not Suitable For Wife

Though most of them make a lot of sense, the various alternate meanings give you a new acronym for every situation. The internet is indeed a Pandora’s Box, where every time you look something up, you find several of it.

Examples

Person 1: BRO!! I’m sending you this video but NSFW

Person 2: thanks for the warning, I’m at work rn, Will check it at home!

You may also like to know these acronyms

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