In Cyber Safety, Internet Glossary, Social Media

Understanding Acronyms: TBH and Facebook


As a parent, holding valuable conversations with your children may be difficult with all the slang and acronyms they use each day. You may even view it as a different language because there is just too many meanings for one word or phrase. Fortunately, deciphering what your children are saying isn’t too challenging. In fact, this article will unpack the acronym TBH, so that you can remain informed and hold a conversation with your children.

What Does TBH Mean?

TBH is an acronym. TBH means “to be honest” for most teens. It is a way of talking to their friends without using words. It saves them time, they exert less energy when they are typing, and it looks cool when they use acronyms instead of words. TBH is often used when chatting online, through text and in online forums.

For many teens, what TBH stands for is the truth. They use this acronym as a warning, of sorts. They are letting their friends know in text, on social media sites, and in forums that what they are about to say is their truth. This acronym is akin to the phrase, “to tell you the truth,” which is what past generations used to share what they thought was the truth.

What Does TBH Mean in Text?

In text TBH’s meaning is to be honest, shortened for texting language. When teens use TBH in text they are simply shortening the word and using the acronym. Many acronyms used in texts are used to reduce the number of key strokes used by the individual sending the message. This allows them to send messages quickly.

One caveat exists when using TBH in text, senders must know their audience. If the person receiving the message does not know what TBH means, then they will not understand the message. This is one of the reasons parents have a difficult time communicating with their children, because they do not know the meaning of the acronyms or the phrases their children use on a daily basis. If you have received a message with TBH, or any other acronym, ask for clarification before expressing your opinion so that you understand the meaning of the acronym.

What Does TBH Mean on FB?

On Facebook, and other social sites, TBH has a double meaning. It still means “to be honest,” but it is used as a game. The premise of the game is to get an honest opinion from the person who posts TBH as their status update. To play the game, people will like the posts, which lets the game initiator know that you are willing to play. Once they receive a like they will post their honest opinion about the person who gave them a like.

As a parent who is concerned about bullying on social sites you should be mindful about your children playing this game. Often, the game can be a way for other children to express derogatory opinions of their friends and peers in a social setting for others to see, which can be considered bullying.

What Does TBH Stand for on Instagram?

Instagram is a picture-centric social media site that also allows hashtags. Picture attract a lot of attention, and users can acquire more followers, which is why many people have social sites. Hashtaging TBH can be used in any sort of context, whether seriously or as a joke, and since it’s a hashtag, many people can view the pictures your teen shares with #tbh, even if they don’t follow them.

What Does TBH Mean on Twitter?

Twitter is a social site that allows people to acquire followers based on common interests, much like other sites; however, Twitter uses hashtags more frequently than other sites. A hashtag is the term used to refer to the pound sign on your keyboard or telephone keypad. By adding a hashtag to the acronym TBH, everyone can link to the hashtag to find out what others are talking about when they refer to TBH. Many people use the hashtag as a game, a way to speak their opinion about something that is trending, or to share a picture that they have posted on Instagram for Throwback Thursday. There are no rules for using TBH on Twitter.

What Is TBH on KIK?

KIK is a free chat site that many people with smart phones use to contact people around the world. KIK is popular because no one has to share their phone number to talk; they can simply share their user name. Much like Twitter, TBH is used to share opinions and pictures on KIK. As a parent, you should ensure that your child isn’t being victimized by their friends and strangers through the use of this acronym.


Teens download the app to chat with others across the world. Within the app, your children can upload pictures and get feedback from strangers. Many users post that the developers of the app have created a friendly community in which teens can get compliments about their pictures and enjoy a friendly atmosphere, but as a parent, you must be aware that there is a possibility that this app may expose your child to bullying by others within the community.

TBH started out as an acronym for “to be honest,” but has expanded beyond the original meaning depending on where you see the acronym. On Facebook, it is a game, on Instagram it is a hashtag, and it is also an app that allows your teens to talk to people across the world. But most of all it’s just a short version of the well known expression “to be honest,” and the acronym is just an easier faster way to type it down. When you know more about how your child is using acronyms, then you are able to have a better conversation with your children because you will know what they are referring to when they speak to you. This will allow you to protect your children from individuals who are using the games, hashtags and apps in a negative manner.

Related Posts

Tags Clouds

Comment Here

1 Comment

  • Gage Millage
    Jun 29, 2015 at 06:03 am

    On instagram, tbh is not throwback Thursday. It is just like Facebook, a game. Throwback Thursday is “#tbt.” The acronym meaning throw back thursday. So I would correct that. Because it is inaccurate.

Leave a Reply

Send Us Message


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>