Acronyms dictionary

tfw

or TFW or that feel when

What does tfw mean?

tfw or that feel when is an expression that people use to frame a statement and express their emotions. These can range from relatable to not so relatable situations. It places emphasis on the emotional content of the sentence. Typically, it can be used to highlight awkward, ridiculous, uncomfortable, annoying, or odd things that happen to someone.

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Where does tfw come from?

Examples of tfw

“That feel when I'm just sitting here making spit bubbles and then Ashley comes out of her room and sees.”
Scout
tfw you need to save the rest of your phone battery for the ride to your grandparents house but you REALLY need to listen to omarion”
micaela @micaeladermody Twitter (July 23, 2015)
tfw ur too stressed to work well but ur too plagued by guilt when u take a break to fully destress”
genice @genicecream Twitter (May 6, 2017)
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Who uses tfw?

As it exists today, tfw may appear with or without an image or GIF. It doesn’t matter either way, as tfw acts more as a conversational marker than anything. It’s a device that signals that someone is about to share some type of information, typically something that’s happened to them. What follows might be highly relatable to whoever is reading or it might be far too specific to be relatable.

For instance, someone might say, “tfw class starts in 10 min and the bus keeps stopping.” Everyone’s had an experience where unfortunate hiccups in transportation have made them late. However, someone who uses tfw might also say something like “tfw you’re #1 in tech and then your neighbor Pocatello steals your highest military tech and then declares war on you and you don’t have an army.” In this case, this person is using it as a way to vent when faced with a very specific negative situation since not everyone has been in their shoes or has even played Civilization V, the game that inspired that particular tfw.

tfw may be used interchangeably with that feel when, though tfw is quite a bit more popular.

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Note

This is not meant to be a formal definition of tfw like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of tfw that will help our users expand their word mastery.