We demand an explanation, and by “we” I mean Lynn:

What makes a pro tip a pro tip, as opposed to just a plain, ordinary tip. Most of the “pro tips” I come across don’t seem to be related to any particular profession nor are they professional in any way. But of course I’m just assuming that “pro” is short for professional. Maybe it’s short for progressive? Profound? Probable? Or maybe just pro, as opposed to con?

Having seen the term inserted in front of some fairly unsanitary-sounding concepts, I can say only that I’m pretty sure it’s not short for “prophylactic.”

However, Know Your Meme offers an actual explanation:

PROTIP is a term often used in forums and comments to preface snarky, obvious, counterintuitive, or sometimes genuine advice for the novice. Its usage is derived from the laughably obvious and even inadequate gameplay suggestions originally found in video game magazines published in the 1990s. While it implies an offer of friendly suggestion similar to FYI, “protip” is commonly used online as a false preface to obvious or sarcastic comments that are generally unhelpful.

KYM has an actual 1995 citation for the term.


  1. Jeff Brokaw »

    25 August 2012 · 7:45 am

    Another piece of geek culture that I missed out on by not being a gamer.

    I do like this one though, and now I know what it means! Although I never recall seeing it. . . . .

  2. Lynn »

    26 August 2012 · 9:23 pm

    I did know how it is normally used online. I was just trying to be snarky, but perhaps not too obvious. :-)

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