TBH Meaning: What Does TBH Mean?

Last Updated on October 16, 2023

What does TBH mean? In this lesson, you will learn the definition and how to use this text abbreviation with ESL infographic and useful conversation examples in English. Incorporating “TBH” into your online vocabulary can make conversations feel more conversational and genuine. Just keep in mind that it’s best suited for informal settings. As you continue to explore the ever-changing landscape of internet lingo, we hope you’ll find that “TBH” is a versatile and helpful tool for expressing your thoughts.

TBH Meaning

What Does TBH Mean?

TBH is an abbreviation for “to be honest.” It is commonly used in casual conversations, such as in social media and text messages. Like other acronyms used online, TBH helps convey a personal opinion or feeling more casually. For example:

  • We really like that new restaurant, TBH.
  • We thought the movie was just average, TBH.

Origin of TBH

The origin of the acronym TBH is not entirely clear, but it has been around for quite some time. Due to the nature of abbreviations, it is likely that multiple people started using it independently as a more convenient and quicker way to express the idea of being honest in written communication. Over time, it became more widely adopted and is now a common part of internet slang.

Related Terms to TBH

There are several other abbreviations and acronyms that are related to TBH, often conveying a similar tone or sentiment. Some of these include:

  • IMO: In My Opinion
  • IMHO: In My Humble Opinion
  • AFAIK: As Far As I Know
  • IDK: I Don’t Know
  • FYI: For Your Information
  • FTR: For The Record

These terms, like TBH, help make conversations feel more casual and friendly. They are used in text messages, social media, and informal communication. We encourage you to explore more of these abbreviations to make your online conversations more engaging and expressive.

TBH Examples in Conversations

Here are a few examples:

Example 1:

  • Co-worker 1: I’m so glad they changed the submission process for our weekly reports. It made no sense.
  • Co-worker 2: TBH I’m surprised they didn’t do it sooner. I think it was a long time coming!

In this situation, we have a conversation between two co-workers. Co-worker 1 is talking about a recent change in the procedure at their office. Co-worker 2 uses TBH to show that she is expressing her honest opinion about the situation.

Example 2:

  • Friend 1: Hey, Alice looks nice today, right? 
  • Friend 2: She looks like she could use a nap, tbh. Maybe she’s working too hard?

Here have two friends talking about their other friend, Alice. Friend 1 compliments Alice on her appearance. Friend 2 uses TBH to show she is not trying to say anything bad about Alice, but that she is stating her honest opinion about her appearance.

Example 3:

  • Social media post: Here are my pics from this summer vacation. Like and comment for a TBH!

This is an example of a social media post using “TBH.” In this situation, the poster asks for other users to like her content and leave a comment in return for a “TBH.” Here we see that this texting abbreviation is used as a noun or something the other person can give. If people like her content, she will give her honest opinion about them. Unlike the previous examples, the opinion expressed here is meant to be a positive comment about the people who like her content.

More about TBH Terminology

Similar Internet Slang Words

Similar expressions include “JBH” or “just being honest,” “LBH” or “let’s be honest,” and “TBBH” or “to be brutally honest.”

In the past, most people used this expression when delivering some information that might upset or offend another person. The implication is that the person saying something isn’t trying to hurt the feelings of the other person, but they are expressing their honest opinion.

Lately, the phrase has taken on a different meaning among younger Instagram users. They see “TBH” as a way to give compliments to others. Some have also said this can be interpreted as, “to be heard.”

Other Meanings

  • Texas Beyond History
  • Top-Bar Hive
  • The BrotherHood
  • Triple Banana Hammock
  • To Be Hired
  • Trumpet Behavioral Health
  • Together By Heart
  • Tindersen Blacktree Hoopdriver
  • To Be Hit
  • Tail Bearing Housing
  • Ten Bucks an Hour
  • The Best Husband
  • The Big House

Other Ways to Say TBH

  • If I can speak my mind …
  • Allow me to speak my mind …
  • Actually …
  • As it happens…
  • Honestly/ frankly speaking…
  • Honestly…
  • I’m going to lay it on the line …
  • As a matter of fact …
  • In all fairness …
  • If truth be told …
  • If I’m perfectly honest …
  • To be frank …
  • The truth of the matter is…
  • Let’s be/make it clear
  • To tell the truth …
  • Frankly …
  • I’m just going to come right out and say it …
  • Truthfully…
  • I’m only telling you this because I care about you …
  • If I shoot from the hip …
  • With all due respect …
  • If I’m being honest…
  • In actual fact …
  • In all honesty …
  • In all sincerity…
  • In fact …
  • Let me set the record straight …
  • Let’s be fair …
  • Let’s put the whole truth out there
  • Let’s set the record straight
  • To be fair…
  • To put it frankly/bluntly…
  • Truth to be told…

Usage of TBH

In Texting

TBH is commonly used in texting to express honesty or to highlight a personal opinion. We often use it when discussing matters with friends or acquaintances. It can be used to make a statement more casual, or to emphasize sincerity. For instance:

  • “TBH, we didn’t enjoy the movie that much.”
  • “I think, TBH, it could have been better.”

By incorporating TBH in our texts, we can give the other person a sense of authenticity and trust in our messages.

In Social Media

On social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, TBH is frequently used to comment on posts or share genuine thoughts. It shows that we are being candid about our feelings and opinions. Here are some examples:

  • “TBH, that was the best vacation we’ve ever had! #memories”
  • “This outfit is amazing, TBH! #ootd”

Moreover, you might find “TBH posts” where users invite their friends to provide honest feedback or opinions about certain topics or themselves.

In Conversations

In face-to-face conversations or even video calls, TBH is used as a verbal expression of honesty and sincerity. We often include it in our statements to ensure that the listener understands our true intentions. For example:

  • “To be honest, we weren’t expecting such a great turnout.”
  • “We really need to improve our communication, to be honest.”

TBH can add a friendly, honest tone to our oral discussions, making them more open and engaging.

Contextual Use of TBH

Positive Context

TBH, or “to be honest,” can be used in positive contexts to express sincere appreciation, compliments, or agreement. By using TBH, we can show our genuine feelings or thoughts about the topic at hand. For example, we can say, “TBH, we love the design of your website” or “We can’t wait for the weekend getaway, TBH!”

Negative Context

On the other hand, TBH can also be used to express an honest, yet negative opinion about something or someone. It’s important to be cautious when using TBH in this manner, as it can come across as blunt or even insensitive. For instance, here are a couple of examples: “TBH, we didn’t enjoy the movie at all” or “We think your cooking skills could use some improvement, TBH.”

Neutral Context

In neutral contexts, TBH can be used to provide unbiased feedback or to simply share an honest thought without the intention of influencing the reader’s emotions. This usage is helpful for maintaining an objective point of view without implying any positive or negative feelings. Examples of this usage of TBH could be: “TBH, we didn’t notice any significant difference in the two proposals” or “We’re not sure which color to choose for the office space, TBH.”

TBH in Different Languages

As we explore the popular slang abbreviation “TBH,” which stands for “to be honest,” we’re intrigued to find out how similar expressions are used in different languages. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

In Spanish, the expression “para ser sincero/sincera” carries the same meaning as TBH. Depending on the gender of the speaker or the person being addressed, you might use either “sincero” (masculine) or “sincera” (feminine). For instance, you could say, “Para ser sincero, no me gusta esa película” (To be honest, I don’t like that movie).

In French, the equivalent expression is “pour être honnête,” which directly translates to “to be honest.” An example usage could be, “Pour être honnête, je préfère les chiens aux chats” (To be honest, I prefer dogs to cats).

For German speakers, the phrase “um ehrlich zu sein” means “to be honest” in English. A possible usage is: “Um ehrlich zu sein, das Essen ist nicht so gut” (To be honest, the food isn’t that good).

In Russian, you would use the phrase “честно говоря” to convey the same meaning as TBH. For example, “Честно говоря, я устал” (To be honest, I’m tired).

As we’ve seen, the concept of being honest in expressions exists across many languages, even though the specific phrases might differ. So, the next time you want to share your honest thoughts with friends or colleagues from different linguistic backgrounds, you can use these expressions to connect with them in their own language. Just remember, always keep it friendly and respectful when expressing your opinions.


We’ve explored the meaning and usage of the acronym “TBH” (to be honest) in detail. It serves as a valuable shorthand in online conversations to express sincerity, share opinions, and initiate discussions. When used effectively, this expression enhances our ability to engage in open and honest dialogue with others.

For instance, when you start a conversation with “tbh, I think the movie was great,” you’re setting a tone of sincerity in your discussion. Using “TBH” in online communication allows us to connect with others, fostering a sense of personal authenticity.

In summary, the meaning of “TBH” isn’t just limited to verbalizing honesty, but it also plays a critical role in fostering genuine communication and creating authentic connections. As we continue to navigate the online world, incorporating “TBH” in our conversations ensures our messages resonate with truth and sincerity.

TBH Meaning Infographic


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the origin of TBH slang?

TBH, which stands for “to be honest,” originated as an informal abbreviation commonly used in texting and social media platforms. The use of TBH can be traced back to the early days of the internet, when chat rooms and instant messaging were popular.

How is TBH used on social media?

On social media, TBH is used to introduce a statement that might be opinionated, blunt, or brutally honest. It’s often used as a preface to a remark to signal sincerity or straightforwardness. People may also use TBH when commenting on another person’s post or picture to present an honest compliment or constructive criticism.

Are there any variations of TBH meaning?

Yes, there are a few variations of TBH. For instance, JBH stands for “just being honest,” which is similar in meaning and usage. Another variant is TBBH, which stands for “to be brutally honest,” emphasizing the candid nature of the statement that follows.

Can TBH be used in professional communication?

Although TBH is popular in informal digital communication, it’s generally not recommended to use it in professional contexts. Instead, we suggest using the full phrase “to be honest” or finding alternatives to convey honesty and sincerity in a more formal tone.

What are some examples of TBH in sentences?

Here are a few examples of TBH in sentences:

  1. TBH, I didn’t enjoy the movie as much as I thought I would.
  2. I think, TBH, that you should try a different approach.
  3. Your new haircut looks great, TBH.

These sentences demonstrate how TBH is used to preface honest statements or opinions.

Are there any related acronyms to TBH?

Yes, there are other acronyms that share similar meanings or functions with TBH. Some examples include:

  1. IMO or IMHO, which stand for “in my opinion” and “in my humble/honest opinion,” respectively.
  2. AFAIK, meaning “as far as I know.”
  3. FYI, short for “for your information.”
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