These days, the kids are always creating new words and coming up with new slang that confuses people my age. One such slang term is “F in the chat”. What does the F stand for?
What does it mean, when someone writes an F in the chat?
Writing an F in the chat is a way to show your condolences when somebody gives you bad news about themselves. It comes from a game called Call of Duty.
In this article, I want to discuss when you should use this phrase, how it came to be, and why it’s so popular among Gen Z.
By the end of this article, you’ll be able to understand what on Earth the kids are trying to say to you.
How F in the chat originates from the game Call of Duty
If you’re wondering what a video game has to do with “F in chat”, allow me to explain.
In 2014, there was a video game released called “Call of Duty: Advanced War”. In one scene of the game, you attend a funeral, and you have the option of watching a respectful video about the character who’s died.
To watch the video, players would receive a message that says “Press F to pay respects”. This idea was found to be rather funny but many players of the game, and it quickly became a common term among people of that age.
What else can “F” mean?
Outside of Call of Duty, F can have several other meanings.
When you’re in polite company, you don’t want to say a certain word that begins with F and rhymes with tuck. So instead, you might refer to it as the “F-Word”.
You could say “He stormed in and said ‘What the F do you think you’re doing?'”
When reading temperature, it can also be short for Fahrenheit. It’s rare for a temperature reading to have the full word, thermometers are small, and “Fahrenheit” is a long word.
And in science, F is the symbol for Fluorine on the periodic table of elements.
Alternatives to using F in chat
Today’s youth have several other ways of showing their love and support to their friends in need.
- Mood: When someone says something which you can relate to. It’s a bit like saying “I’m in the same mood as you are”.
- Sad boi hours: When young men get sad, “sad boi hours” is the term used to describe the period that they have to allow themselves to be low.
There is a bit of a misconception that men don’t express emotions, but as we can see, we do, but we don’t speak about them in the same way that women do.
When should you use F in the chat?
It would be very rare for a group of teenage boys to say “F” when something really terrible happens- like the passing of a loved one.
Instead, it tends to be used as a humorous way of showing that you understand someone’s pain, usually about something trivial. For example, if you were to talk about how you got rejected by a girl, or how you dropped toast on the floor.
It’s a way of saying “We understand in the grand context, this doesn’t matter. But we get why you’re upset”.
The idea of using a single letter to show empathy is evidence of a strong sense of Nihilism throughout the generation.
This is a point which I always find to be very interesting to talk about. Most people of that age grew up around social media, and mental health issues are shared among a lot of them. You need to remember, many of them spent their childhood during an economic crisis, surrounded by TV shows that promoted vapid and meaningless lifestyles.
Generation Z has become so desensitised that F is now their way of showing empathy and support.
For a while now, group chats have been a common way for people to talk to each other. Group chats work similarly to online messaging. The only difference is that rather than just talking to one person at a time, you’ll be able to speak to all of them at once.
Most social media platforms allow you to talk via a “group chat”, but the most common place to find them is probably “WhatsApp”.
Their popularity grew in 2020 because of the lockdown. People who wouldn’t have used them before had to speak to their friends.
Is using F in chat here to stay?
Slang comes and goes. If it lasts for long enough, it stops being slang, and it finds its way into the Oxford dictionary.
Will “F in the chat” stand the test of time?
Perhaps I will grow to be proven wrong, but as things stand at the moment, I don’t see that happening. It’s very rare for slang to last, and because in years to come a game from 2014 will be unheard of, most people won’t know what “F” means anymore.
The humour will wear off.
This is not to say that I’m right. Perhaps it is here to stay.
“F in the chat” is what teenage boys do to show their respect and empathy when their friends tell them news which doesn’t really matter but is still not very nice.
It started off as a funny message in a video game about shooting but has now become so standard that even people who don’t play Call of Duty are using it.
In the past, F could mean The F word, Fahrenheit, or Fluorine, which all start with the letter F. But the F in “F in the chat” doesn’t stand for anything, it’s just a button on an XBox controller.
I hope now you don’t just know what “F in the chat” means, but you also know where it comes from and why today’s kids like to use it.