What Does “BFD” Mean, and How Do You Use It?
Have you written about your accomplishments only to have someone call them a “BFD”? Sometimes, a BFD isn’t as big a deal as it seems. Here’s what this sarcastic internet slang term means and how to use it.
Big F***ing Deal
BFD stands for “big fucking deal.” It’s an initialism that people on the internet use to describe something that’s very important or a “big deal.” You can find this acronym online in direct messages between friends, social media posts, or memes. It can also stand for “big freakin’ deal,” which is a polite version.
However, most of the time, this acronym is deployed sarcastically. So when you say something is a “BFD,” you may be downplaying its importance or saying it’s not a “big deal.” The sarcastic BFD is ubiquitous among younger people, who often say “big f**ing deal” in a mocking tone in real-life conversations. It can be tricky to determine which definition someone is using, so use context clues to figure out whether they’re being sarcastic or not.
You can use this acronym in both the uppercase “BFD” and the lowercase “bfd,” however, the capitalized version is more common. This slang term is similar to other initialisms that use an expletive, such as “NFW” or “no f***ing way,” and “FFS” or “for f***s sake.”
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The Origin of BFD
Like many internet acronyms that we’ve covered, BFD was coined by early internet users on platforms such as IRC and messaging boards. The first definition of BFD on the internet slang repository Urban Dictionary is from May 2001. It reads, “acronym: Big Fucking Deal, use sarcastically.” This definition predates other slang terms on the website, which suggests that it’s been a common acronym for a long time.
While BFD was already a common acronym in the early 2000s, it skyrocketed to popularity because of an episode of The Office. In season two, the main character Michael Scott, played by Steve Carrell, sarcastically says “BFD” by spelling out the acronym instead of saying the phrase. This helped the initialism gain widespread popularity, with many people online adopting the term into their internet vocabulary. A 2008 entry on Urban Dictionary directly references the episode.
Nowadays, you can find BFD in every corner of the internet, from private text messages to friends to tweets with thousands of likes. It’s also become a part of pop culture, with a presence in song lyrics, movie dialogue, and books.
BFD and NBD
Despite having similar structures and similar meanings on paper, BFD is very different from the acronym “NBD,” which stands for “no big deal.” People often use “NBD” to downplay their accomplishments or contributions. For example, if you drive your friend to the airport and they express their gratitude towards you, you might say “nbd” to express humility or to imply that they weren’t a burden.
On the other hand, BFD is usually used to downplay what someone else is saying. For example, someone comes to you and exclaims that a massive thunderstorm is ongoing. If you don’t find the storm that intimidating, you might say, “BFD, that’s barely a drizzle.” NBD is used to downplay your own accomplishments, while BFD is used to be dismissive of something else.
How to Use BFD
If you’re interested in using BFD to spruce your texts and tweets, then use it in the right context. When you use it to downplay something, add additional words to clarify that you’re being sarcastic. You can also use emoji, such as the “eye-roll emoji” (🙄), to help that point come across. Otherwise, other people may think you’re earnest.
Since this is a highly informal slang term with an expletive in it, avoid using it in professional settings.
Here are a few examples of BFD in action:
- “BFD, everyone finishes the first level.”
- “Dude, BFD, this computer is always on sale.”
- “I can make this dish at home for way cheaper. BFD.”
- “Wow, that’s a BFD! Congratulations on your award!” (used genuinely)
Are you eager to expand your internet vocabulary? Check out our explainers on TMI, LMAO, and TFTI, and you’ll be an expert on online slang terms in no time.
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