A young woman in a blue sweater giving a thumbs-up gesture.
Andrii Iemelianenko/Shutterstock.com

If someone tells you they’re “FR,” they want you to take them seriously. Here’s what FR and FRFR mean and how to use them in your posts and messages.

For Real, For Real

FR stands for “for real.” It’s an internet initialism that you can use in direct messages to emphasize your point, agree with someone else’s point, or react to something unbelievable. It also has a common derivative acronym, FRFR or “for real, for real,” a more intense and serious version of FR.

FR and FRFR are valid in both uppercase and lowercase. However, since both of these acronyms became extremely popular in the direct messaging age, most people use the lowercase versions “fr” and “frfr” instead.

RELATED: How to Search Your Instagram Direct Messages

A History of FR

“For real” is an idiomatic expression that predates its acronym version. According to the Collins Dictionary, the phrase rose in popularity during the 80s and 90s, with plenty of appearances across pop culture, from movies to popular songs. Eventually, “for real” became a common term in the early 2000s and its acronym version followed soon after.

The first definition of FR on the internet slang database Urban Dictionary is from 2003 and reads, “for real.” The modified acronym FRFR came later, with its first entry on Urban Dictionary dating back to 2010. It defines FRFR as “for real for real.”

Question and Answer

An interesting thing about FR is that it can take the form of both a question and an answer. Most of its uses come from the original idiomatic phrase. When spoken aloud, you could say “for real?” when you’re in disbelief or find something incredulous. You could also say “for real” when you want to confirm something or emphasize your point.

Both of these definitions carry over to the initialism. So, for example, if your friend tells you that they’re shooting the next James Bond movie a few blocks away from your house, you might say, “No way, fr?” because that sounds unbelievable. Alternatively, if you’re trying to tell someone that they need to stop acting immature, you might message them, “You need to stop being childish, fr.”

FRFR, on the other hand, is a more intense version of the latter definition. It has a lot in common with “no BS” or “no bullsh*t.” You can use it when people are skeptical about what you’re saying, but it’s essential that they believe you. So, for example, if you get accused of leaking plans for a surprise birthday party, you might message, “I didn’t do it, FRFR!”

Another FR

An aerial view of Paris, France.

For the most part, FR means “for real” if you see it on a Tweet or a simple text from a friend. However, you might also see this combination of letters all over the internet, where it can mean something drastically different.

The most common alternative definition for FR is as the shorthand for France or the French language. Many display language selectors on websites will let you change your preferences to FR to see everything in French, often next to a French flag. You can also find websites where content varies by region, so selecting an “FR” option may take you to a French-specific site.

In lowercase, it is the top-level domain or TLD of France, so you’ll see many French websites end in “.fr.” It can also refer to France’s former currency, the “franc,” used until 2002 when it was replaced with the Euro. Lastly, “Fr” can also be an abbreviation for “father,” the title for Catholic priests.

RELATED: The Difference Between .com, .net, .org and Why We're About To See Many More Top-Level Domains

How to Use FR and FRFR

To use FR and FRFR, add them to a message where you want to strengthen or emphasize your point. If you’re using FR as a question, don’t forget to add a question mark at the end. You should avoid using them in the workplace or other professional settings. They work in uppercase and lowercase, but most people write them in lowercase nowadays.

Here are a few examples of FR and FRFR in action:

  • “Wow, that’s messed up, fr.”
  • “I promise I didn’t cheat on the test, frfr.”
  • “Dude, fr, you need to stop being annoying.”
  • “Are you fr?”

If you’re interested in learning about other slang terms, check out our explainers on TBH, NM, and NGL. You’ll be an authority on internet speak before you know it!

RELATED: What Does "NGL" Mean, and How Do You Use It?

Profile Photo for Vann Vicente Vann Vicente
Vann Vicente has been a technology writer for four years, with a focus on explainers geared towards average consumers. He also works as a digital marketer for a regional e-commerce website. He's invested in internet culture, social media, and how people interact with the web.
Read Full Bio »