© 2021 KALW
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

IMHO IMHO Means ...


IOHO, what does IMHO mean? Debate broke out among BuzzFeeders this week if the initials mean in my honest or in my humble opinion. Honest suggests you're about to be utterly candid. Humble suggests you offer an opinion only reluctantly. Honest won the BuzzFeed poll - 59 percent to 41 percent - but polls don't decide correct usage. So we asked Peter Sokolowski, editor at large of Merriam-Webster's. Both personally and professionally, he told us, I maintain in my humble opinion.

Robinson Meyer in The Atlantic said IMHO has now joined other initials that have become words, like zip code, which used to stand for zone improvement plan, or snafu, an old Army phrase for situation normal all - well, you can finish that thought. So the H can stand for whatever you like - in my hallowed, haunting or harmonious opinion. I like in my homeopathic opinion for when you want to offer an opinion that has no effect but makes you feel like you're doing something.

(SOUNDBITE OF KENDRICK LAMAR SONG, "HUMBLE.") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.