While FWIW is not the most popular jargon on the Internet, it usually finds its way into Twitter posts and posts. Boards and chat rooms. But what does FWIW mean, where does it come from and how do you use it?
For what it's worth
FWIW means "for what it's worth." It is a language that rarely has a literal meaning, and is used to politely express that someone should consider an opinion, idea or fact (usually because their opinion is flawed).
If it helps, imagine that FWIW means: "You can ignore what I'm going to say, but I think you should listen to it anyway." The phrase does not really change the general meaning of your sentence, it only adds a polite tone to what you are saying.
So, instead of telling a friend: "You have no idea what you're talking about, 4K TVs have four times the pixel resolution of HD TVs," you could say, "FWIW, 4K TVs have four times the pixel resolution of HD TVs. "
Interestingly, FWIW can also be used to inject a sarcastic, empathic or even dismissive tone in your prayer. These tones come mainly from the context, but as a general rule, any use of "FWIW" that can be replaced by "FYI" has a sarcastic tone. ("FWIW, toothpaste kills the germs of bad breath")
It is worth noting that FWIW is generally used (but not always) at the beginning of a sentence. This is called a prepositional phrase, and is used to tell readers that you are about to politely contradict (or confirm) another person's opinion.
FWIW has been present for centuries
As an idiomatic expression, "for what it is worth" has existed since at least the nineteenth century. The phrase actually has its origin in the economy, and was initially used to express the literal value of products, goods or people. A 1600 farmer could promise that he would only buy a horse "for what it is worth," while a tax collector could try to "steal anything worth it".
There was a time when this economic meaning overlapped with Our modern meaning. You can see this overlay in stories like The Merchant Service (1844), where a character tells another: "Your opinion is worth what it is worth, nothing" (the characters in this work are merchants, and the author is using "what is it worth worth "as a pun.]