FWD – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Did someone tell you to stop forwarding them emails? This post unpacks the meaning and origin of the expression ‘fwd.’


The abbreviation ‘fwd’ is a shortened form of ‘forward.’ It’s a common term used in email communications. You’ll use the ‘fwd’ feature in an email to send an email in your inbox to someone else. You could forward an email when someone needs the information in the message.

If you ‘fwd’ a message to someone, it doesn’t originate from you. It’s usually an email received from another person. Typically, the person will be left out of the copy loop in the mail, and they need you to send them the email so they can get up to speed with the communication.

‘FWD’ also refers to a ‘front wheel drive car.’ These vehicles have the engine mounted in the front of the car, driving the front wheels only. It’s a popular engine configuration in European vehicles, while American cars prefer a rear-wheel drive setup.

Example Usage

“Please, stop forwarding me spam emails. I can’t handle you clogging up my inbox with all this nonsense.”

“When you get the compulsion to fwd me an email, please don’t. I get enough spam from everyone else, and it’s adding work to my day to delete everything.”

“Don’t fwd me any emails at work. The IT team watches my inbox, and if they see you sending me emails, I’ll get a warning from my manager.”

“Why do you keep emailing me these memes? Please, don’t fwd me anything. Only email me if you have something important to discuss.”

“My manager called me into his office this morning and told me to tell everyone to stop forwarding me spam emails. It’s chewing bandwidth and increasing company expenses.”

“Don’t fwd me emails I’m already copied on. It’s creating double-work for me, and it’s frustrating to have to clean up my inbox daily.”

“There’s no way to stop these people forwarding me these spam emails? Can I blacklist them? I’m tired of receiving all this rubbish. It’s killing my productivity.”

“Please fwd me that email from management. The team was supposed to copy me in on the email, but they forgot.”


The term ‘fwd’ originates from email communications. MIT invented email in 1965 as part of its ‘Compatible Time-Sharing System.’ The computer engineer, Ray Tomlinson, was the first person to send a network email in 1971. He forwarded the email to himself to test the system, with the text body reading, ‘something like QWERTYUIOP.’

However, email would only become popular as a means of global communications towards the end of the 1990s, and the invention of email services like ‘Hotmail.’ Today, ‘fwd’ is a common term used in email communications, and you probably use it all the time.

‘FWD’ can also describe a ‘front wheel drive’ car. The first use of the abbreviation in the Urban Dictionary to refer to a front-wheel drive car was in February 2004.

Phrases Similar to FWD

  • Front Wheel Drive.

Phrases Opposite to FWD

  • N/A.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • FWD.
  • Fwd.
  • Forward.

Ways People May Say FWD Incorrectly

Some people may use the alternate meanings of the abbreviation’ fwd.’ The abbreviation can stand for other terms like ‘Fresh Water Dump,’ ‘F**k with dat,’ or ‘F**ked up Workday.’ However, these colloquialisms are not as popular as the meaning ‘forward,’ as it applies to email communications.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase FWD

You can use the abbreviation ‘fwd’ in email communications where you ask someone to forward you a message from another person or department. Or you could use it to tell people to stop forwarding your emails you find irrelevant. It suits professional and personal communications on business and private email accounts.

You can also use ‘FWD’ to describe a ‘front wheel drive’ car. These vehicles have the engine mounted in the front of the vehicle, driving the car’s front wheels. However, it’s more common for people to use the abbreviation to refer to forwarding emails.

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