What Does TINSTAFL Mean?

TINSTAFL means "There Is No Such Thing As Free Lunch."

The abbreviation TINSTAFL is used with the meaning "There Is No Such Thing As Free Lunch," which is a popular adage that holds that it is impossible to get something for nothing (which is the core tenet of all economics).

The origins of the term are unknown, but a version of it was popularized in 1975, by economist Milton Friedman, who published a book entitled "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch," which is abbreviated as TANSTAAFL. The saying is also often quoted as "There's No Such Thing As A Free Lunch," which is abbreviated as TNSTAAFL.

Summary of Key Points

"There Is No Such Thing As Free Lunch" is the most common definition for TINSTAFL on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Definition:There Is No Such Thing As Free Lunch
2: Quite easy to guess
Typical Users:
Adults and Teenagers

Image for TINSTAFL

When I write TINSTAFL, I mean this:

meaning of TINSTAFL
A clever mouse knows TINSTAFL.


Examples of TINSTAFL in Sentences

Here are examples of TINSTAFL being used in conversations:
  • Candice: He's fixed my car and didn't charge me a cent!
  • Marie: TINSTAFL. I bet he expects a favour in return.
  • Tim: My boss gave me yesterday off, but has just said I've got to do unpaid overtime at the weekend.
  • Joel: TINSTAFL.

An Academic Look at TINSTAFL

TINSTAFL is an initialism abbreviation. Technically, this means it is pronounced using its individual letters (i.e., "Tee Eye Enn Ess Tee Ay Eff Ell"). However, it is not often spoken using its letters. The abbreviation TINSTAFL is for efficiency in writing rather than for efficiency in speech.

TINSTAFL is typically used as a standalone declarative sentence (i.e., a statement). It is not normally used as another part of speech within a wider sentence.

What Did We Say before Texting and Social Media?

Before the digital era, we would have just said "There Is No Such Thing As Free Lunch" instead of using the abbreviation TINSTAFL.

Example of TINSTAFL Used in a Text


See Also

2GTBT (Too Good To Be True) TGTBT (Too Good To Be True) RTF (Return The Favour)