What does Tinder mean? I mean the name of the popular dating app. Is it a word or a derivation or misspelling of an English words or expression? Or is it just a fantasy word? I am not a native English speaker and other than the suffix 'er it doesn't mean anything. Does Tind mean something, is there a verb to Tind. Thanks

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    No, tender means soft. Tinder in English is something used to light one's fire, which I suppose might be relevant in a lateral-thinking way ODO on tinder.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 20:49
  • @developerwjk - sorry, was that a joke? Tinder <> Tender. Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 20:50
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    @KristinaLopez, I noticed that after I read over it again right after clicking "add comment." Lol. Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 20:53
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    Some background from here (brit.co/tech-company-names): "10. Tinder: What started out as “Matchbox” eventually became Tinder after the founders consulted a thesaurus. They stuck with the fire theme, liking the idea that their app could create a romantic spark."
    – John
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 20:54
  • @developerwjk - lol! It would give a whole new meaning to Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tinder" song. :-D Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 20:58

1 Answer 1


Tinder is an app that makes matches. Starts the spark, so to say.

This is an excerpt from Rewind and Capture, which explains why they chose the name:

The idea of setting a spark, of starting a fire, for romantic relationships was always the log-cabin foundation for Tinder, which was originally called Matchbox. According to the Milwaukee Business Journal, co-founder Jonathan Badeen admitted the trio decided against Matchbox but were still struck by the thought.

“We still liked that sort of fire theme, so actually we looked through a dictionary, a thesaurus, something like that, looking for fire-related words,” he said. Eventually settling on Tinder, which Merriam Webster defines as, “dry material (such as wood or grass) that burns easily and can be used to start a fire.” Worst case, “people will either get it, and they’ll say, ‘Oh — tinder: fire,’ or they don’t get it and they think it’s some clever misspelling of the word ‘tender,’” said Badeen.

In case you missed it, "tinder", in plain English, refers to a:

dry material (such as wood or grass) that burns easily and can be used to start a fire.

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