What Does PTFO Mean?

This acronym that can be interpreted in two different ways

An image graphic of a text message saying
A text message saying "PTFO" on an iPhone.

PTFO is an acronym that's nearly impossible to accurately interpret just by looking at it for the first time. To make it even more confusing, PTFO has two possible interpretations.

PTFO stands for:

  1. Passed The F*** Out
  2. Play The F***ing Objective

Both interpretations include an F-bomb but are used in completely different ways.

PTFO As Passed The F*** Out

When PTFO is used to mean Passed The F*** Out, it implies a person is so exhausted they've fallen into a deep state of sleep. Alternatively, it can imply a person was knocked unconscious upon impact from a hit, a punch, a fall, a body check or some other physical force.

The F-word helps to emphasize the intensity of a person's unconscious state. Anyone could say they "passed out" from exhaustion, which gets the point across just fine, but when they say they've "passed the f*** out," you know it's serious!

Examples of PTFO As Passed The F*** Out

Example 1

Friend #1: "Hey why aren't you answering my messages?"

Friend #2: "Sorry. Been PTFO the last 10 hours."

In this first example, PTFO is used as Passed The F*** Out to describe the sleeping state of Friend #2.

Example 2

Friend #1: "Did you see that hit Jones took during the game last night?!"

Friend #2: "Yeah he was PTFO!"

In this second example, PTFO is used as Passed The F*** Out to describe the unconscious state of a sports player after suffering a strong, physical hit.

PTFO As Play The F***ing Objective

When PTFO is used to mean Play The F***ing Objective, it's almost always done in the chat area of a multiplayer video game. A player might use the acronym to tell distracted players to focus on how they must work together to level up and advance through the game rather than wasting time on unimportant things that are only relevant to the individual player.

Like PTFO's alternative interpretation, the F-word is used here to emphasize the seriousness of the phrase. A player is much more likely to grab other players' attention by saying "play the f***ing objective" compared to simply saying "play the objective."

Examples of PTFO As Play The F***ing Objective

Example 1

Player #1: "Woot! Another kill!"

Player #2: "PTFO! We need more flags!"

This first example shows how a gamer might use PTFO as Play The F***ing Objective in the chat area of a multiplayer game to try to get their fellow players to stick to the game plan.

Example 2

Friend #1: "Hey do you know any good gamer friends? My quest for PTFO players continues..."

Friend #2: "I know too many non-PTFO players, but I'll hook you up with 1 or 2 good ones"

This second example shows how someone might use PTFO as Play The F***ing Objective to help describe a type of gamer.

How to Tell Which Interpretation Is Being Used

The easiest way to tell whether a person means Passed The F*** Out or Play The F***ing Objective when they use PTFO is by determining whether there's a gaming reference in their message or in the overall conversation. If there is, it's a good chance they mean Play The F***ing Objective.

On the other hand, if there's a reference to sleep, exhaustion, illness, injury or some other unpleasant physical or mental state, Passed The F*** Out might be the right interpretation. Your best bet is to examine the context of the message containing PTFO and possibly the entire conversation to give you clues about which version of PTFO is being used.