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Not Safe for Work
aka: NSFW

A common internet warning, usually denoting a picture or video that you wouldn't want to show up when you are surfing the web at work. It's one thing to just look up the latest news or check your email. It's another to be looking at porn. Anything with nudity in it at all will often get labeled thus, on the off chance that a passing observer simply thinks you might be looking at porn.

So called because if you are caught reading a page that is Not Safe For Work at work, you can get fired. For the more graphic NSFW pages, even having them in the hard drive or cache of a work computer can get you fired. Even showing up in the server log files could be unhealthy.

Also applies to school, of course. Usually even being caught simply going to sites like YouTube, Facebook, or Dailybooth can get you in pretty big trouble there; being caught looking at anything "pornographic" will guarantee a trip to the vice principal's office, plus several detentions, or a suspension, or something similar.

Also particularly helpful to parents who are at home - believe it or not, some people on the Internet do have small children and still find time to netsurf. These same people like to have a warning to wait until the children are in another room before clicking a link.

NSFW can be applied to vulgar or violent, as well as pornographic, content. Also applied as a near-synonym for Squick. It may also be applied if the link requires sound, as not a lot of people have headphones at work (or should be wearing headphones, depending on the job).

Just in case you are still not clear on what this means, go to this page when you have privacy. Then ask yourself, do you really want your boss in the room when you're looking at that stuff?

Incidentally, get back to work before your boss notices you slacking off by browsing this site!

See also, No Lewdness, No Prudishness for how this site handles the issue.


This phrase can take many forms:

NSFW In Fiction

  • Filth, in general
  • Farm Sluts
  • This trope gets a name-drop in Grand Theft Auto V during the mission "Friend Request", where Michael has to do a pop-up clicking minigame for Rickie Luckens because he got a virus after clicking a "totally NSFW link".

Norse by NorsewestImageSource/PhotographyNothing Is Scarier
Not on the ListStock PhrasesNot That Kind of Partner

alternative title(s): NSFW; Safe For Work; Work Safe
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