What Does FTW Mean? THIS Is What It Means!

Updated on July 8, 2017
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Melanie is a social media maven and has been blogging since 2007. She is an expert on things related to internet culture.

Han Solo and Indiana Jones FTW!
Han Solo and Indiana Jones FTW! | Source

What does FTW mean?

Short answer: FTW can mean either "For the win" or "Fuck the world"

Longer Answer

FTW has several meanings in the online world, so chances are that you've seen this term floating around somewhere on the Internet. So what does it mean? FTW is an acronym that means "for the win." This definition may seem kind of obscure. I mean, what does "for the win" really mean? Well, think about it. If you're in an online game and you capture the flag, you did it for the win or, rather, so that you could win. If you're working really hard on a paper for school, you probably want to get a good grade on it, so you're working extra hard on it FTW!

The phrase is often said in victory, but you can also say it while you're very near to victory, or even just working toward your goal. In other words, it's something of a modern-day rallying cry! Another phrase that has a similar in meaning is "game, set, match!"

Epic win!
Epic win!

Other Meanings

FTW has a few alternative meanings. Keep in mind that while other definitions exist, "for the win" is typically the most common.

If you use FTW when you mean to say something different, the person you are talking to might be confused. This is why you'll want to make sure that the person you're talking to knows what you're talking about.

Here are alternative meanings for the acronym.

  • Fuck the world. This one was actually a very common meaning, especially among bikers in the 70s and 80s. At this time, "for the win" didn't even exist yet. However, due to the popularity of online games, "fuck the world" has dwindled in use. One should use caution when using the term to older people who are unaware of the new connotation.
  • Free the whales.
  • Face the wall.
  • For those wondering.
  • For the wine.

The Origin of FTW

Believe it or not, FTW has its origins in the television show Hollywood Squares. From its first usage on the popular game show, the term then spread to an online game called Defense of the Ancients (known more commonly as DotA.) This game is a spinoff of Blizzard's popular Warcraft III series.

From DotA, this word spread to other online games such as World of Warcraft. The term is highly popular and heavily used in the online gaming community. However, it can also be seen in a number of websites and social networks such as Reddit, which are frequented by gamers.

Quick Poll

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    • profile image

      huh 5 years ago

      the original meanings for bikers was and still is...

      forever on two wheels,

      feel the wind and f*** the world

    • forlanda profile image

      Juancho Forlanda 5 years ago from US of A

      10,000 years from now anthropologists will find data in computer storage devices and will have a heck of a time deciphering all these. With so many meaning to only three letters, they will be totally confused. There's a major difference between interpreting FTW as "for the win" and "f**k this world". Hopefully they pick the right one. LOL.

    • Jeff Gamble profile image

      Jeff Gamble 5 years ago from Denton, Texas

      Thanks for the chuckle this morning Mel. I'll take Paul Lynde FTW... to free the whales that is.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Aha--I've also seen it used as a 'reversal' of WTF.. using the same "naughty word." Instead of "What The F**," it's turned around to "F** The What???" Doesn't make a lot of sense, but I think that developed as a way to try to "sneak" the more commonly known WTF past the noses of parents & teachers.

    • profile image

      RALPH VITALE 5 years ago


    • melbel profile image

      Melanie Shebel 6 years ago from New Buffalo, Michigan


      It's a happy face like :) except it's got a tongue sticking out. :P

    • profile image

      fishcrow 6 years ago

      what does the acronym :p mean?

    • profile image

      bandana 6 years ago


    • profile image

      qweqweqw 6 years ago


    • profile image

      Monique 6 years ago

      For Those Wondering

    • Painted Seahorse profile image

      Brittany Rowland 6 years ago from Woodstock, GA

      My younger sister taught me this expression. She was taking notes in AP US history class, studying one of the world wars, and wrote "USA FTW" really big in her notebook...and the teacher saw it and gave her an odd look. Haha, good hub!

    • Dovay Lee profile image

      Dovay Lee 6 years ago from China

      Haha,I am wrong after reading your hub,Ithought it was short for free trade wharf. Thanks for the info and I leart a lot from it.

    • Astra-chan profile image

      Astra-chan 6 years ago from NL

      You're right: I'm really sure that it means For The Win^^ Especially with an exclamation mark behind.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for a great hub and brining up to date, seriously. I am glad it changed into something more nicer meaning.

    • sweetie1 profile image

      sweetie1 6 years ago from India

      Hi melbel,

      What can i say accept that you reserched this word quite well and described it too very nicely. Before i read this i never knew there is FTW,