Part of a series on Internet Slang. [View Related Entries]

Updated Mar 30, 2021 at 06:53AM EDT by Y F.

Added Jun 02, 2015 at 07:44PM EDT by LNH.

PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.

This submission is currently being researched & evaluated!

You can help confirm this entry by contributing facts, media, and other evidence of notability and mutation.


TBH is an initialism for “to be honest,” a colloquial expression used to preface a statement of candor or confession in everyday conversations. The abbreviation is almost exclusively used in the context of SMS conversations and online discussions.


Although the exact origin of the abbreviation is unknown, it may have arisen as a form of text speak with the rise of SMS messaging in the 1990s. On June 23rd, 2003, Urban Dictionary[6] user Suzuki submitted an entry for TBH, defining it as an initialism for "to be honest."

TOP DEFINITION tbh to be honest Suzuki: "You're a s------ queer tbh..." by Suzuki June 23, 2003


On December 23rd, 2006, the initialism was added to the wiki-based online dictionary Wiktionary.[4] On July 4th, 2008, Urban Dictionary user alexwearspradaa submitted an entry for "cbf tbh," defining it as an abbreviation for the dismissive expression "can't be fucked, to be honest." On November 14th, 2011, the tech news blog MakeUseOf[9] published an article listing the "'TBH' word game" as an aggravating Facebook practice in which a user invites friends to like their status in order to receive an honest opinion. On December 17th, 2013, the virus software blog McAfee[5] published a post about Internet slang titled "TBH (To Be Honest) and More Slang Parents Should Know." On April 17th, 2014, YouTuber BeautyLiciousInsider posted a video titled "To Be Honest.. 'I Hate my body'", in which she uses the abbreviation TBH in a discussion about body image issues (shown below).

On September 2nd, The Atlantic[7] reported that Instagram users were using the hashtag #TBH in confession videos uploaded with the app. As early as June 2015, the abbreviation became associated with children known as "summer fags" on the /v/ (video games) board on 4chan, where those who used the initialism were subsequently mocked.[3]

Search Interest

External References

[1] Wikipedia – SMS Language

[2] Oxford Dictionaries – TBH

[3] Archive.Moe – /v/ search TBH

[4] Wiktionary – tbh

[5] McAfee – TBH To Be Honest

[6] Urban Dictionary – TBH

[7] The Atlantic – The New Internet Honesty

[8] Urban Dictionary – cbf tbh

[9] MakeUsOf – 5 Things People Do On Facebook That Drive Me Crazy

Recent Videos

There are no videos currently available.

Recent Images 3 total

Top Comments

+ Add a Comment

Comments (20)

Display Comments

Add a Comment

'lo! You must login or signup first!