The 39-year-old pop star, who is known for sharing lighthearted dancing videos and silly messages, took to Instagram on Tuesday, Feb. 16 to post a photo of a Scrabble board that contained both real and made-up words.
In her caption, the "Stronger" performer encouraged fans to find the fake words but did not specify whether she was actually playing a game with anyone else. As board game enthusiasts know, making up your own words is typically a Scrabble no-no.
"Can you find a word that isn't actually a word ????" Britney wrote. "Sometimes it's fun to make ones up [winking-face-with-tongue and shrugging emojis] !!!!"
Naturally, this immediately led countless fans to suggest in the comments that the game board's words were intended to form a hidden meaning or offer clues about her well-being. Many of the fan comments appear to be light-hearted, although others expressed true concern for the "Circus" singer.
"She's talking to us through code," one user wrote. "Let's get to work."
A different fan commented, "Not me looking at this like a hidden clue from National Treasure." A third individual picked up on one phony word, TIUQ, and shared the message, "TIUQ is 'QUIT' spelled backwards. If you're looking for a clue... that's it."
Yet another fan comment expressed a simple but concerned sentiment. "Are you ok Britney," the person wrote.
While it's safe to assume that Britney did not intend to express any hidden meaning with the post, her fans' remarks reflect the #FreeBritney movement that has gained increased attention following the debut of "Framing Britney Spears." Released on Feb. 5, this episode of FX's docuseries The New York Times Presents focused on the star having been under the conservatorship of father Jamie Spears since 2008, meaning he has legal control of her personal and financial decisions.
In November 2020, a judge rejected the singer's request to have her dad removed from the conservatorship.