Some days are slower than others and when that happens, the folks over at BuzzFeed dig deep and find a way to stir up some controversy. This time it started as a small disagreement between staffers over the true meaning behind the acronym IMHO, then turned into a full-blown interoffice Slack survey that included 743 employees.
That wasn't the end of things. The argument continued until BuzzFeed employees decided to take it to readers, asking them to weigh in with their votes.
Before long, the internet was embroiled in a debate about the meaning of the "h" in IMHO.
the H in 'imho' stands and always has stood fur 'humble,' case closed— Tracy Boomeisha-Ann Clayton (@brokeymcpoverty) May 2, 2018
I know it's painful for people to learn they’ve been wrong about IMHO — it stands for humble, not honest — but on matters of consequence and fact, it’s best to be humble and admit it. Honestly.— Dominic Holden (@dominicholden) May 2, 2018
Are the people who think IMHO stands for "in my honest opinion" younger than I am? Because it used to be unanimously agreed it means "in my humble opinion." Am I the old guy clinging to antiquated internet jargon which has changed its meaning since I was on AIM in 1999?— Marxist-Macronist (@notwokieleaks) May 2, 2018
And things got pretty intense...
Then somebody dropped some knowledge:
People used to say "IMAO" sometimes which meant "in my arrogant opinion" which clearly makes no sense if the acronym always meant "honest."— Marxist-Macronist (@notwokieleaks) May 2, 2018
There was also IMNSHO which meant "in my not so humble opinion"
Gather round, younger Millennials and Gen Z and let me weave you a tale
So while 55 percent of people here are objectively wrong about what IMHO _stands for,_ they're actually correct about what IMHO, practically, _means._ "In my humble opinion" doesn't actually imply humility, it's a way of instructing the listener not to overweight it. https://t.co/J52znB6Kla— Dara Lind (@DLind) May 2, 2018
Tracy may have solved the mystery of why people are split on this definition in the first place:
heres what i think— Tracy Boomeisha-Ann Clayton (@brokeymcpoverty) May 2, 2018
the phrase, generally, has always been 'in my humble opinion'
internet happens. tbh is an early abbreve used in internet speak. the h there stands for honest
abbreves keep happening, we get to imho
kids assume the h is for honest bc the h in tbh is
But the definitive answer came from a place where definitions reign supreme—the dictionary: