What does it mean when they put the letter F in WhatsApp chats?

Christina d'souza
Christina d'souza
4 Min Read
Diese Smartphone Besitzer Muessen Schon Bald Auf Whatsapp Verzichten
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WhatsApp, the mobile messaging application with the largest number of users in the world, has become one of the most effective platforms for the adoption of colloquial terms that are popularized on social networks and in specific circles. A great example is this particular expression that consists of just the letter ‘F’, which, depending on the context, can have a strong meaning. Do you know what it means and why it is so famous among young people? Here we reveal the whole truth.

Many of these idioms that are used in social networks end up spreading to different parts of the world. This is what happened with the popular word ‘ Gaaa ‘, a cry from local gamer slang that reached Europe as a result of the participation of Peruvian teams in the Dota 2 World Cup.

What does ‘F’ mean in WhatsApp?

The ‘F’ has a different origin but is also related to video games. Before explaining where it comes from, we will tell you how it is used, in what contexts and what it means depending on the situation.

When someone places this letter in chats, be they private or public, what is meant is a certain demonstration of empathy or respect, even if it is figurative. In short, it can be synonymous with “I respect that”, “how sad”, “what a pity”.

Placing ‘F’ is not well seen in contexts where seriousness must prevail, this is because it is practically a meme, so its use should only be applied to topics that are not sensitive, since it could offend whoever reads it in those cases.

Despite this, there are occasions, mainly collective, where ‘F’ can be perceived as a gesture of respect and genuine empathy. This has happened a lot in the circles of video games and social networks, where most users know the meme and know that everyone will be able to understand the meaning of the idiom. The passing of beloved characters from the gaming scene, like Tomiii_11, is a great example.

The origin of ‘F’

Using ‘F’ became a meme for a specific reason. All part of a video game from the popular saga COD Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, released in 2014. In the extensive campaign of the title, there is a scene where we have to attend a military funeral with our soldier character.

At one point in the scene, we will be asked to approach the coffin of the deceased and press a button to “pay respects” in English. Many of the clips that showed this scene showed the PC version of the game, where the default key to perform the action was precisely the letter ‘F’.

That is why, now, many users prefer to resort to that collective memory of the popular video game and meme to express their condolences or sympathy in more colloquial contexts. This is how ‘F’ has become almost synonymous with “pay respects” or “give condolences” on social networks and WhatsApp.

Proofreader, editor, journalist. I have been doing my favourite thing for more than six years.
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