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  #1  
Old 01 May 2011, 03:48 PM
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Ponder Which internet content acronym was used first, NSFW or NFBSK?

http://www.funtrivia.com/askft/Question120539.html
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  #2  
Old 01 May 2011, 03:52 PM
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From urban dictionary:

Quote:
Origin: Circa 1998
At the snopes.com message board, an obviously irate woman posted saying the other posters should watch their language, because there were British school children reading the message board. From then on, as a joke, the other snopesters started using NFBSK in place of swear words or in the subject lines of topics that might not be suitable for children (or the squeamish).
That's not the right story, though. No one irate ever posted.
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  #3  
Old 01 May 2011, 05:03 PM
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Also, the first definition of NSFW on Urban Dictionary was posted in 2003, not 2005 - even though it was Word of the Day in 2005.

Still, if true (and what's truth without cites?) then that's still later than 1998... Surely there must be Usenet references for NSFW from earlier than 2003? The person who posted that definition was going by existing usage, after all.

And also, if you follow the link to NFBSK in Urban Dictionary, even though it references the incident from 1998, the definition itself wasn't posted until 2004 - so if we're using Urban Dictionary to decide (without checking the cites), NSFW wins.

Personally, I only started posting here late in 1999 and so missed the origins, but I can verify that NFBSK was an established term by then. Just like Svenska Limpa and "see you at the pool!"...

(eta) Sorry, I didn't notice that Urban Dictionary sometimes lists the definitions with the latest first. In fact, Dark Dan posted the first definition of NFBSK there on October 10, 2003. Which is still behind the first definition of NSFW (September 12, 2003), but not by so much.

Last edited by Richard W; 01 May 2011 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 01 May 2011, 05:04 PM
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And an entire generation of sexually frustrated British schoolchildren have a NFBSKing grudge against the Mikkelsons.
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  #5  
Old 01 May 2011, 05:18 PM
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Fortunately I'd left school long before that, so any sexual frustration of my own must be down to other causes...

Urban Dictionary itself was established in 1999, which seems to be sufficiently prior to 2003 that it probably doesn't factor in which of the definitions was posted first. Although it's possible that it suddenly became more prominent in 2003 and lots of terms were added then.
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Old 01 May 2011, 05:23 PM
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I was a relative latecomer to the ULMB, but I seem to recall NFBSK being well-established by the time I'd gotten here.

NSFW, I just don't know, however.

But that is just the recollections of a woman in the midst of a fevered haze, so take it for whatever it's worth.
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Old 01 May 2011, 06:19 PM
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I do not remember my original join date, but I've been here quite a while. I think since late 1998? NFBSK was well established when I came on board. It took me a while to track down what it meant without asking. Asking even back then was rather frowned upon as it distracted from the conversation. It wasn't that difficult to track down what things meant if you really wanted to know. You just had to figure it out.

I vaguely remember a rather surly exchange snopes had with a newbie about the subject of the jargon and how welcoming/not welcoming the board was etc.
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  #8  
Old 01 May 2011, 06:58 PM
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I think 1998 for NFBSK is pretty solid (snopes and Barbara may or may not have the exact archives) - the question is, when was NSFW first used? I would imagine (or would have assumed) it was some time before that.

That might not be a good assumption, though. It was based on the idea that NSFW must have originated on Usenet. But there's really no reason that a Usenet post would need a "not safe for work" indicator. It's more useful as a forum warning on a web link. Which bumps it forward ten or fifteen years, potentially.
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Old 01 May 2011, 07:05 PM
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I dunno when NSFW came into vogue. I had always assumed it was a more internet wide usage, where NFBSK was snopes centric. I couldn't even tell you when or where I first saw it. To me it "feels" like NFBSK has been around longer, but I don't wander the wilds of the internets too often, so my feeling is probably incorrect.
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  #10  
Old 01 May 2011, 07:22 PM
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I certainly saw NFBSK first too, but that's because my posting-things-on-the-web career started here...

(eta) Well, I was in an REM email newsgroup in 1995 or so, but I don't remember anybody posting many web links, and certainly no acronyms warning about the content.
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  #11  
Old 01 May 2011, 08:02 PM
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NSFW has been around since at least 2001, as the term appears multiple times on the Fark website during that year. (No, I'm not going to provide a link, but the site's archives are searchable.)
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  #12  
Old 01 May 2011, 08:37 PM
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I know I've seen NSFW on usenet before I came here, but no idea how far back that goes. I'd had usenet at home since 1994ish, but had access to newsgroups back in the 1980s via (shhh) our computer maintenance engineers' private network.
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  #13  
Old 01 May 2011, 09:16 PM
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I checked out Google's USENET archive. It would appear that "NSFW" caught on in late 2001 and early 2002. The first use of "NSFW" in a Fark headline appears in September of 2001. "Not safe for work" shows up on this archived Fark page from 2000.

NFBSK appears in archives during 2000. Here it is in a jargon list from the Straight Dope. The NFBSK section of the old ULMB appears to have been created in July 2000.
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  #14  
Old 01 May 2011, 09:37 PM
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I can't see how to reliably search Google's usenet archive. I tried to search the archives for 1998 - 1999, and thought I'd got results, but when I looked at the threads in question, the dates on the posts were in fact 2008 - 2009. (Although one of the threads that came up had "1999" in the title). It's like it can't distinguish between decades / centuries, although surely that can't be true.

How did you find yours?
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  #15  
Old 01 May 2011, 09:56 PM
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I constrained the search only to Google Groups (USENET groups). Otherwise it counts web-based message boards for some reason and the associated post dates for those are way off. I limited the search to 1990 through 1994 and stepped through each year until I started seeing actual uses of the phrases and not just the letter combinations occurring in scrambled posts or wrongly dated articles.

I still don't entirely trust the Google Groups results though, they seemed very thin and the the date filing is terribly inconsistent.
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  #16  
Old 01 May 2011, 10:24 PM
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I thought I'd told it only to search Google Groups too... I still got dodgy message board results. But I did start from the other end (2000) and tried to work downwards, though.
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  #17  
Old 01 May 2011, 10:49 PM
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The thing I always wanted to know about NSFW was who all these people were who had time to net-surf at work. I never had a spare minute to worry about whether a website was appropriate for work, because I never looked up anything not work-related.
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  #18  
Old 02 May 2011, 06:26 AM
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A lot of the old usenet postings (e.g. mid 1990s when I was posting on various rec groups) got removed from being searchable on Google though. That makes it hard to be sure of when NSFW was first on usenet.
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