TRWTF is they were running as root, at a nuclear sciences research facility!

TRWTF is that the World Cup was in South Africa.

What's the detailed meaning of the above sentences?

How many catchphrases like "IMHO" in English? Be thankful to any advice.

  • @kit.yang, "How many catchphrases like "IMHO" in the common spoken English?" should be entered as a separate question on the site.
    – b.roth
    Commented Nov 15, 2010 at 15:02
  • FMI: does anybody use those in spoken English? TRWTF even has more syllables than the phrase itself. And how would IMHO be pronounced?
    – malach
    Commented Nov 15, 2010 at 15:08
  • @Bruno Rothgiesser Thanks for your advice.I will edit the problem soon.
    – kit.yang
    Commented Nov 15, 2010 at 15:23
  • @Ralph Rickenbach I have modified the questions.Thanks.
    – kit.yang
    Commented Nov 15, 2010 at 15:25
  • @Ralph, expressions like WTF, OMG, IMHO, BTW, etc. are spoken on my college campus. It's also not unheard of for people to say "smiley" or "angry face" in lieu of emoticons. Take from that what you will. :)
    – kitukwfyer
    Commented Nov 15, 2010 at 17:36

2 Answers 2


It means:

The real "What the F***"

Which is:

What is really bad about this, where they really blew it was...

WTF is an abbreviation in its own right and could also mean

What in the world, what in God's name

Therefore TRWTF would express

The reason one might exclaim "What in the world is this", is that they were running as root, at a nuclear sciences research facility.

For the origin, see Claudiu's answer.

  • "where the really blew"?
    – Claudiu
    Commented Nov 15, 2010 at 15:24
  • I believe that should be "where they really blew it was..."
    – mskfisher
    Commented Nov 15, 2010 at 15:34
  • 4
    I'm not sure the emphasis of "WTF" is (in this case or in general) that they screwed up. It means something more like "The really shocking thing that you wouldn't have seen coming," but with a connotation that the surprise is negative.
    – Henry
    Commented Nov 15, 2010 at 19:17
  • This XKCD comic demonstrates an example of TRWTF: xkcd.com/463
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Jan 25, 2011 at 12:00

Ralph's answer has got the meaning. As to the origin... there is a website, www.thedailywtf.com, which has daily posts of really idiotic and messed up coding practices. Usually the story is obviously terrible in a certain way. However, people say "Well, the real wtf is..." meaning, the thing that is really messed up.. and they point out something more subtle/funny.

  • 2
    Usually TRWTF is the fact that the code sample is written in Visual Basic. Commented Nov 15, 2010 at 19:19
  • @Mr. Shiny and New At the website Claudiu given,I saw the origin of WTF.offers living examples of code that invites the exclamation 'WTF!?'" and "recounts tales of disastrous development, from project management gone spectacularly bad to inexplicable coding choices.
    – kit.yang
    Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 2:11
  • 4
    @kit.yang: that website isn't really the origin of the term "WTF", just one of the places that have helped make it popular. However, users on that site may have coined "TRWTF", where it is a running joke/meme to try to come up with the wittiest or funniest "real" wtf. Commented Nov 16, 2010 at 13:43
  • TRWTF, as always, is the comments ;) (p.s. that's a quote from every comments thread on TDWTF.com) Commented Apr 26, 2011 at 17:39
  • @Matt: is that automatically inserted into each thread or something, then?
    – SamB
    Commented May 4, 2011 at 5:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.