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TBH Meaning, Origin, and Usage: What You Need to Know

Elsa Updated on Apr 6, 2023 Filed to: Teen Slang

In contemporary communication, abbreviations have become a prevalent tool employed to convey messages effectively to the intended recipients. Various keywords are frequently utilized in texts, social media posts, and comments to achieve this objective, with "TBH" being among them. This acronym has become ubiquitous in different forms of communication, ranging from social media posts to professional emails. It maintains the same meaning across these contexts, albeit with different interpretations.

This article aims to provide an in-depth analysis of "TBH" and its evolution into a vital component of modern digital communication. Moreover, we will explore the diverse meanings attributed to the acronym in various contexts, utilizing a range of examples to illustrate its adaptability. For those new to the slang world, this piece provides an all-encompassing explanation of "TBH" and its utilization.

tbh meaning

Part 1 : What Does TBH Mean

TBH is an acronym used for "to be honest”. It is utilized to send a message of forthrightness and honesty. Being "honest" involves speaking the truth and not trying to win others over by plausibly false or flattering claims. It is a commonly used interpretation of TBH and is frequently used in texts, Facebook postings, and Instagram stories.

tbh to be honest

On the other hand, TBH is also short for "to be heard." Although it is less frequent than the "to be honest", it is regularly used in formal and informal conversations. Typically, the speaker will use it to underline how important it is to be heard and understood, especially in social and political contexts. In this case, people might express their desire to be understood and valued by utilizing this acronym.

However, TBH on social media is mostly used to "tell the truth”. Social media users and influencers use it to emphasize their honest opinion on any post. For example, if a user is writing TBH in the post caption and uploading a quote from any renowned writer then it means that the user is being candid and shares the same viewpoint on the given matter.

Part 2 : Common Scenarios Where TBH Is Used

TBH appeared in the early days of digital communications and quickly became a part of it. It was used in a variety of contexts and some of those are explained above. TBH is being used on all social media, especially Twitter and Facebook posts in many different scenarios. Let’s discuss some scenarios to understand the meaning of this acronym better.

"TBH I am leaving this job." In this example TBH means "to be honest” and it is used by the person to pass a true statement about his job that the receiver might not believe. When the message is conveyed with the use of TBH it adds value to the statement about its truthful meaning of it.

"TBH I am working out in the gym." Here TBH also stands for "to be honest” and it might be used when someone asks about you, and he does not believe you. Then the use of TBH in such scenarios adds value to it and represents that you are being honest with him.

"TBH I really like your hair." TBH here also expresses "to be honest", and it reflects that the speaker feels that what he or she is about to say is sincere and objective. Such sentences are frequently used on social media platforms, particularly Instagram, to express one's true opinion of others' posts.

"TBH I feel like my opinions are being ignored in this discussion." In this example, the person is frustrated and wants to have listened to by the audience. Here TBH will stand for “to be heard”. The person is giving an opinion and he wanted to be heard by the group.

"TBH I've been feeling overwhelmed with my workload lately and I think we need to find a solution together." Here TBH signals a sense of acknowledgement by the company. So contextually, TBH in this example also stands for "to be heard."

Part 3 : Other Words Related to TBH

There are a few extensions to the TBH abbreviations like TBQH and TBFH. These abbreviations are not commonly used on such platforms, but some influencers use them.

"TBQH" stands for "to be quite honest" and has a similar meaning as "to be honest". This extension is used to emphasize the existing use of TBH. We can say that TBH and TBQH are redundant abbreviations.

Whereas "TBFH" stands for "to be fair, honest." It is mostly used to express a sense of sincerity and authenticity in online communication. All these three abbreviations can be used alternatively and they all represent the same meaning.

There are a few related words that are widely used in chat and social media, such as IMP and TBF.

"IMO" is widely used in social media, especially Twitter. It stands for "in my opinion." It is used when you want to share your stance.

"TBF" stands for "to be fair". It is used when making decisions or giving feedback. This phrase is commonly used when someone fails to recognize or appreciate the work produced by others and the other person wants to know why they are not doing well enough.

Part 4 : How to Keep Up with Your Child's Internet Slang and Lingo

Internet slang is an everyday phrase that is popular online. Kids are also into these kinds of words for chatting, creating blogs or posting messages on social networking sites.

Understanding kids' use of Internet slang words and lingos can help you know your child better and help you connect with them.
By listening to your child, you can learn about his or her interests and concerns, which can give you valuable insight into what topics are important to him or her. This will make it easier for you to understand why he or she is doing something on the computer and mobile and what motivates him or her to do it.

Understanding the kid's use of internet slang is essential for parents. Active sight over child online activity can provide insight into the use of internet slang. Let’s see a few examples of such slang that are widely used on the internet.

"BTW" that stands for "by the way".

"RT" stands for "retweet".

"SMH" stands for "shaking my head".

"YOLO" stands for "you only live once".

Part 5 : Extra Tips to Know If Your Child Used TBH in Their Messages

Your child might spend hours on social media and texting and use many internet slang words or inappropriate words. As a responsible parent, you should keep an eye on the kid’s mobile phone activity.

Nowadays, as the internet is exploding with many software and mobile applications you do not have to physically check your phones. You can use this software to track their online activity. AirDroid Family Locator is one such application that can track mobile phone activity.

AirDroid Parental Control

This app can do many tasks and some of those amazing features are listed below:

  • It can limit the screen usage of the child's mobile.
  • It can block certain apps and games on a kid’s mobile.
  • It can be used to facilitate parents to check if their children are using Internet slang (e.g. TBH) or inappropriate words in their chats.
  • It has a geofence feature that can set safety areas.
  • It can track and locate the live location of the kids.


In conclusion, TBH has different extensions and related keywords that can be used in different scenarios and different contexts. The use of such internet slang exploded when Facebook was introduced to the market. The users of Facebook were increasing and people started using many acronyms and abbreviations and TBH was one of them. Although TBH has no inappropriate meaning, parents can use apps like AirDroid Parental Control to spy on their kid’s online activity. This act can keep their child safe from cyberbullying and inappropriate use of the internet.

Although TBH has no inappropriate meaning, parents can use apps like AirDroid Parental Control to spy on their kid’s online activity. This act can keep their child safe from cyberbullying and inappropriate use of the internet.

Part 6 : FAQs about TBH Meaning and Usage

What Does TBH Mean in the Text?

TBH in texting stands for “To be honest”. It is the commonly used acronym of TBH however, it also stands for “To be heard”. It has different contextual meanings in different scenarios as explained in the article.

What Does TBH Mean on Instagram?

TBH the caption of any Instagram post stands for “To be honest”. It is used to represent the honest view of any post.

What Is a TBH Post?

A TBH post can be any post on social media that represents the true meaning of the thing that was posted. For example, any political view posted on social media with TBH in the caption is a TBH post as it may indicate the user has an honest opinion on that stance.

How Do I Respond If I Receive TBH?

There is no such hard and fast reply on TBH. It only indicates that the sender is being honest and telling the truth. However, you can agree or disagree with his statement.

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