Ref Meaning: What Does the Popular Abbreviation “Ref” Stand for?

Although the slang term “ref” can be an abbreviation for many words, there is one word that this shortened form is used to represent more than others online and in text messages. Below, you will learn all about this word including its meaning, origin, and some other meanings concerning other things that this term can stand for. Conversation examples are provided for you too so that you are able to see how this term is used in everyday context. Lastly, you will learn some other words that you can use in place of this term and the word that it most popularly represents.

Ref Meaning

What Does Ref Mean?

This slang term is most often used online and in text messaging as an abbreviation for the word “refugee.” This type of person is someone who has felt forced to flee their own country due to some sort of persecution or other negative conditions and cannot make a safe return to their own country.

Origin of Ref

The term “refugee” is derived directly from the French word “régugié.” The term was first used in 1685 to refer to the Protestants that fled France due to religious persecution. The term was heard for the first time in America nearly a decade later and was used to describe anyone who had to flee their country because of religious and political persecution.

Other Meanings

This term can be used for an abbreviated form of other words as well such as “reference,” “reform,” “referee,” “referring,” or “refresher.” The term can also be used as an acronym to represent random phrases and official titles. Although not an all-inclusive list of things that it can be used to stand for as an acronym, some things it does represent are “Research Excellence Framework,” “Regional Energy Forum,” “Renewable Energy Fund,” “Rapid Equipment Fielding,” and “Regional Executive Forum.”

Conversation Examples

A discussion between two friends via text message.

  • Friend 1: You need to stop living the life of a ref. Get off my couch and get a job.
  • Friend 2: I am working on it, but it is not as easy as you seem to think it is.
  • Friend 1: Well, I got you an interview where I work tomorrow. So be ready to go with me in the morning.

An online discussion between two Twitter users.

  • User 1: We have a real problem with refs in this country.
  • User 2: While this may be true, you still have to show compassion for these people who are running from war and persecution.
  • User 1: I have compassion for them, there just has to be a better or more efficient way to deal with it.

Synonyms of Ref

There are several alternative words that you could use to replace this term in a conversation without changing its meaning. Some other words that you could use include:

  • evacuee
  • immigrant
  • displaced person

Ref Meaning Infographic

Ref Meaning: How Do You Define The Useful Acronym "Ref"?

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