Why don't we interpret FYI as “information for you” or “for-you information”? As a matter of fact, I don't understand the “for your” in FYI.

P.S. I've already checked the dictionary before asking. So my focus is not quite on the history of the acronym, but how to understand the idiom (because I don't have a good feel of English).

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the OP seems to have a problem with basic idiomatic fixed phrases.
    – Yuri
    Nov 23, 2017 at 22:06
  • @Yuri Isn't this a Q&A site for English learners?
    – K.K
    Nov 24, 2017 at 3:34
  • By that, I mean instead of just accepting what is common and has been inserted in dictionaries the OP's trying to change it into what he thinks is true. Actually there is no answer to such questions. Read the answer below for instance. It didn't really answer the OP's question! It just repeated what dictionaries say about FYI.
    – Yuri
    Nov 24, 2017 at 10:30
  • Ok, I have edited my question with more details. Also I had given suggestion to the answer below for why its citation is distracting. It did answer my question.
    – K.K
    Nov 24, 2017 at 20:03

1 Answer 1


FYI = "For Your Information" as in, "Here is information for you" (to add to the information that you have).

"FYI" is commonly used in e-mail, instant messaging or memo and messages, typically in the message subject, to flag the message as an informational message, with the intent to communicate to the receiver that he/she may be interested in the topic, but is not required to perform any action. It is also commonly used in informal and business spoken conversations. (Source)

  • Still, why is it “for your” instead of “for you”? :-|
    – K.K
    Nov 15, 2017 at 3:32
  • It's an abbreviation that has always meant "For Your Information" -- which does make sense just like this example: If it's your birthday and I get you a gift, it is "For your birthday", not "For you, birthday". A toothbrush is "for your teeth" not "for-you teeth". I suppose an explanation is that "for your" is adding something to a collection that you have (like your teeth, or things you get for your birthday, or the "collection of information" that you have in your memory. Your example of "for-you birthday" is incorrect usage of a hyphen and would never be used.
    – ashleedawg
    Nov 15, 2017 at 4:00
  • (I'm enjoying answering these questions because even with recent college-level English upgrading, I'm surprised how many of the questions really make me think "why do we say it that way?" :-) Unfortunately for those learning English as a second language, there are a lot of weird rules that make no logical sense.) :-/
    – ashleedawg
    Nov 15, 2017 at 4:01
  • One more subtle point related to this phrase - "For your Information" can be spoken in a condescending tone to someone. "Well! For Your Information... I AM An Expert In Decorative Design!!! Humph!" And in this case, it is a verbal battering ram. I admit that when I see FYI, I get a slight taste of this attitude. Nov 15, 2017 at 5:16
  • @ashleedawg Ah, I see what you mean now. The cited source is distracting. The analogy to for your birthday is very useful. This reminds me of for your reference. One of my dictionary has for information/reference. What makes me confused (and you too?) is that I think we don't own information, only know of it.
    – K.K
    Nov 15, 2017 at 7:55

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