SFW is a widely encountered internet acronym, standing for the phrase “Safe For Work”.
It is the direct opposite of the acronym NSFW which stands for “Not Safe For Work”.
The abbreviation is used to signal that the shared content does not contain anything sexual, brutal or something otherwise inappropriate in a work environment.
Origin of the term
The exact origin of the acronym is not known, although it started emerging in the 1990’s, and its popularity started surging after 1993.
It first emerged on message boards, chatrooms and forums; sites like Usenet.
Spread of the term
During the 2000’s, the internet’s rising popularity had enabled more and more people to browse the web while performing their duties in their workplace, making it more imperative for posts to be signaled “SFW”.
In the 2010’s, the acronym would appear on meme and humor sites, as well as message and image boards.