Women hold up signs as they surround Robert Burck, known as the original "Naked Cowboy" who is a supporter of Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump as they protest against Trump during a demonstration organized by the National Organization for Women (NOW) outside Trump Tower in New York City, Oct. 26, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

You may have seen “SJW” floating around the Internet, whether in tweets claiming that SJWs don’t have a sense of humor, YouTube videos with titles about “SJW meltdowns” written in all-caps or stories about SJW Snowflakes. But what exactly does it mean?

SJW is an abbreviation Social Justice Warrior, a pejorative term for progressives used in far-right circles that has proliferated online in the past two years. According to the internet’s favorite reference book, Urban Dictionary, a Social Justice Warrior is “an individual who repeatedly and vehemently engages in arguments on social justice on the Internet, often in a shallow or not well-thought-out way, for the purpose of raising their own personal reputation.”

The word was added to the Oxford University Press’ online dictionary in 2015, defined as a derogatory term for a person “who expresses or promotes socially progressive views.” The term “social justice,” by itself, however, is defined differently: “Justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society.”

The phrase Social Justice Warrior came into popular use in 2014 and 2015 when the Gamergate controversy was at its peak. The phenomenon began after women criticized sexism inherent in the gaming industry. The backlash to that criticism was fiery, with women gamers who had spoken out becoming the object of full-on harassment campaigns. Those who saw feminist or progressive critics as harmful to the industry began calling those critics “social justice warriors,” and the pejorative connotations have stuck around today.

It's now become a favorite term for the alt-right website Breitbart, with "Social Justice Warrior" in many of its headlines. Reddit even has an entire subreddit thread called “SJW Hate,” with the tagline, “Where white privilege runs amok.”

But originally, the term wasn’t used in a derogatory way at all. Indeed, in the 1990s it was used as a compliment, reported the Washington Post. And progressives who have been called SJWs are increasingly attempting to reclaim the term, adding it to their Twitter biographies like a badge of pride.

"Being a social justice warrior doesn’t mean that you have never been on the receiving end of injustice, it means that you have decided to put that experience to good use," said writer and theologian Jeff Cook in the Huffington Post in December.