IMAO Meaning: What Does IMAO Mean?

What does IMAO mean? It is an interesting phrase. The following lesson provides the definition and the usage of this online slang term with ESL infographic and useful texting conversations in English.

Key Takeaways

  • IMAO is an internet acronym meaning “In My Arrogant Opinion,” often used with irony or self-deprecation.
  • The term originated in 1989 as a twist on IMHO, or “In My Humble Opinion.”
  • IMAO can be found in online forums, chats, and text messages as a way to share opinions in a lighthearted manner.

IMAO Meaning

What Does IMAO Mean?

“IMAO” means “in my arrogant opinion.” 

This is similar to the other phrases, “IMO – in my opinion,” “IMHO – in my humble opinion,” and “IMNSHO – in my not so humble opinion.” “IMO” and “IMHO” are used when someone expresses their opinion. “IMAO” is similar to “IMNHO” in that the user is claiming that their opinion is more correct or has more importance when compared with the opinion of others.

Some have noted that this internet slang term can sometimes be misunderstood in certain contexts because the capital “I” can be confused for a lower case “l.” So when someone says “IMAO,” other users might read it as “lmao” or “laughing my ass off.”

This phrase is more likely to be used on social media, in group messages, and for discussion forums.

Origin of IMAO

IMAO, meaning “in my arrogant opinion,” is an internet acronym that became popular with the rise of text messaging and online communication. It serves as a playful take on the earlier abbreviation, IMHO, which stands for “in my humble opinion.”

This acronym emerged in the early 2000s, following the widespread adoption of text messaging as a primary means of communication. The advent of texting and chat platforms inevitably led to an increase in abbreviations and shortened versions of common expressions. These abbreviations allowed users to convey complex ideas with minimal effort and improved the efficiency of online communication.

It is interesting to note that the earliest recorded use of IMAO dates back to a May 1989 Usenet discussion about the jam band The Grateful Dead. In this conversation, user David Vinayak employed the term before rating various periods in the band’s history.

IMAO, although similar in meaning to its predecessor IMHO, adopts an opposite stance. Instead of adopting a modest or humble tone, IMAO carries a more self-deprecating or ironic undertone. This expression works well in casual discussions and adds an element of humor, often diffusing potentially contentious debates.

Today, IMAO continues to be a prevalent acronym in online communication, evolving alongside internet culture and maintaining its prominence in the ever-changing digital landscape.

Related Terms to IMAO


IMHO stands for “In My Humble Opinion.” This term is often used in online discussions when someone is sharing their thoughts or perspective in a more modest or respectful manner. It’s important to note that the “H” in IMHO can also be interpreted as “honest” instead of “humble.”


IMNSHO, or “In My Not-So-Humble Opinion,” is similar to IMHO but with a twist of self-aware arrogance or confidence. This term is typically used when someone is expressing an opinion with a bit more assertiveness or conviction, yet still acknowledges that it is just their opinion.


LMAO is an internet slang term that stands for “Laughing My A** Off.” It is commonly used to express amusement or when someone finds something particularly funny. LMAO is often used in online conversations, social media and messaging, as well as in casual written communication.


LOL is an acronym for “Laugh Out Loud” and is one of the most common expressions used to convey amusement or laughter in a conversation. This term has been widely used since its introduction to the internet and has become an essential part of online communication.


ROFL, short for “Rolling On the Floor Laughing,” is another popular internet slang term used to express intense amusement or laughter. Although it’s similar in meaning to LOL and LMAO, ROFL is often reserved for moments when something is considered extremely funny or hysterical.

IMAO Examples

Examples of IMAO in Texting

IMAO, an acronym for “in my arrogant opinion,” is a term widely used in internet slang. It originated as a twist on the more humble phrase, “in my humble opinion” (IMHO). People often use IMAO in a self-deprecating or ironic manner, acknowledging their exaggerated sense of self-importance when expressing an opinion. IMAO often appears in text messaging, social media, and online forums.

For instance, a user on a discussion forum about music might write: “IMAO, the Grateful Dead is the best band of all time.” This statement implies that the user’s opinion might be exaggerated, but they still want to assert their viewpoint. In another context, someone might use IMAO when commenting on a debate, saying, “IMAO, this argument is pointless.” This suggests that the user believes their opinion is strong and potentially arrogant but still wants to share their thoughts.

It’s worth noting that other variations of IMAO, such as “in my awesome opinion” or “in my amazing opinion,” are also sometimes used. These expressions similarly emphasize a sense of confidence and self-importance in the speaker’s opinion. However, they may convey slightly different shades of meaning, depending on the context and the specific slang being used.

Like other internet slang terms, such as LMAO (laughing my ass off), IMAO has its roots in the early days of the internet. Usenet discussion groups, a precursor to modern social media platforms, were some of the first venues where phrases like IMAO and LMAO appeared. The use of IMAO and similar acronyms has since spread to various forms of electronic communication, such as email, chat, and text messaging.

In conclusion, IMAO is a versatile and widely used internet slang acronym that reflects a sense of irony and self-awareness when expressing one’s opinion. Its use in texting and other forms of online communication highlights the continued evolution of language and how individuals adapt their communication styles in digital environments.

Conversation Examples

Let’s take a look at how it’s used.

Example 1:

  • Forum user 1: The workplace has become too strict. People need to learn to relax.
  • Forum user 2: IMHO I agree!
  • Forum user 3: Well, IMAO I disagree. If it’s too tough for you, you should find another job.

Here we have a discussion about attitudes at work. User 1 states their opinion. User 2 agrees with it. User 3 shows the degree to which they disagree with user 1 and user 2 by using “IMAO” to show that he thinks he knows more about the topic than the other two users.

Example 2:

  • Social media post: IMAO Joey’s Sandwich shop has the greatest meatball sub in the world.

In this situation, we see a post from a social media user about a restaurant. The user includes IMAO at the beginning of the post to show that he is an authority on the subject and knows what the is talking about. While example 1 shows someone directly disagreeing with another person, in this post we see that the person who wrote the post is using IMAO to show how much he believes in his statement. It’s less confrontational than the other setting.

More about IMAO Terminology

Other Meanings

  • International Monkey Assassination Organization
  • In My Armed Opinion
  • I’ll Make An Opinion
  • I Am Also One
  • I Missed An Opportunity
  • I Must Ask Obama
  • In My Awesome Opinion
  • In My Anal Opinion
  • In My Amazing Opinion
  • Ignore Many Accusatory Objections
  • In My Angry Opinion
  • Internet Masking Actual Operation

Other Ways to Say IMAO

  • In my not so humble opinion
  • I dare say that …
  • I strongly believe that…
  • I bet that ….
  • I’m absolutely convinced that…
  • I have no doubt that…
  • I’m sure that…
  • There’s no doubt in my mind that…
  • My impression is that …
  • My own feeling on the subject is that …
  • It seems to me that …
  • To my mind, …
  • I don’t know about other people, but I can say…
  • My view/opinion/belief/impression/conviction is that …
  • Personally, I think…
  • Personally speaking…
  • The point is that…
  • What I mean is…

IMAO Meaning Infographic


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between IMAO and LMAO?

IMAO stands for “In My Arrogant Opinion” and is used when expressing a strong or potentially controversial opinion in a somewhat humorous or ironic manner. LMAO, on the other hand, stands for “Laughing My A** Off” and is commonly used when something is found to be extremely funny or amusing.

How do you pronounce IMAO?

IMAO can be pronounced as “eye-may-oh” or can also be spoken by saying each individual letter “I-M-A-O.”

How is IMAO used in online conversations?

IMAO is typically used in casual online conversations, such as on social media platforms, forums, or in text messages. It is used to express an opinion that may be perceived as arrogant, with a touch of humor or irony. However, it’s important to be cautious when using IMAO, as it might not always be understood correctly or may be perceived negatively by others.

What does IMFAO stand for?

IMFAO stands for “In My F***ing Arrogant Opinion.” It is a more vulgar version of IMAO and is generally used to emphasize the speaker’s conviction or frustration when expressing their opinion.

What is the relationship between IMAO and IMO?

IMO stands for “In My Opinion,” and it is a more neutral and less assertive way of expressing one’s thoughts. IMAO, which means “In My Arrogant Opinion,” is a more forceful way of expressing an opinion and often adds humor or irony to the statement.

When is it appropriate to use IMAO in a sentence?

IMAO is appropriate to use when expressing a strong or potentially controversial opinion with a touch of humor or irony. However, it is important to consider the context and the audience, as IMAO may not always be understood correctly or could be perceived negatively. In more formal settings, it might be better to stick with IMO or avoid using internet slang altogether.

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