Slang dictionary

fwp

or First Word Problems or #firstworldproblems

What does fwp mean?

First World Problems or fwps are issues that are only seen as such by people in wealthy parts of the world. The term is generally used in a tongue-in-cheek way online by people in wealthy nations to poke fun at themselves.

Where does fwp come from?

Examples of fwp

“Got a massage yesterday and my desk chair has already ruined it. #FirstWorldProblems”
Digital Playground @DPxxx Twitter (April 3, 2017)
““Now, this is an important issue. One of the things people dread the most–one of the hardest parts about the holidays across the country–is how difficult it can be to roll out pie crust.”
Verbal hashtag: First world problems.”
“First World Problems: The Reflexive “Myself”,” Grammarsaurus Rex (December 27, 2011)
“Waiting in a line to get gas, not getting comments or likes on Facebook, worrying about buying the next iPhone as soon as possible, and disliking having your parents tell you what to do are some of the silliest first world problems, ‘FWP,’ I get exposed to. These are a drop of water in a wide sea because those complainers have no idea about the non-FWP that millions of Iraqis and other people in other parts of the world are facing each and every day.”
Andrew Slater, “My Non-First World Problems: Letters from Iraq,” The Daily Beast (August 10, 2014)
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Who uses fwp?

The term First World Problems is generally used by people in first-world countries as a way to poke fun at themselves, often taking on a self-deprecating and ironic tone. The hashtag #FirstWorldProblems is popular on social media.

In 2012, WATERisLife used the First World Problems hashtag in an ad campaign in which Haitian residents read tweets that used the hashtag in a video. The campaign was both criticized as fake and manipulative to the Haitians and praised as an effective way to start an important conversation.

The phrase itself is not without controversy. Critics such as Alexis C. Madrigal for The Atlantic and Steven Poole for The Guardian have argued that the First World Problems is problematic, racist, and condescending. Poole writes that the phrase implies that “third world” nations (now commonly referred to as “developing nations”) are homogenous in their worries, and that “hunger, disease, and war are not only prevalent among the global poor but in some way the sole conditions of their lives.”

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Note

This is not meant to be a formal definition of fwp 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 fwp that will help our users expand their word mastery.