What is the difference between IMO and IMHO and IHOP?



I was reading a public forum, and I saw the following abbreviations:

  • IMO
  • IMHO
  • IHOP

As far as I see, these are interchangeable somehow, but I don't understand the correct usage of them. Just assuming the


Probably stands for "In my Opinion",

and the extra 'H' letter stands for the Honest (or other references says: Humble).

I don't understand with the extra "H" does it sarcastic or even rude to say?

For the last one, I have absolutely no clue. I've tried to google it, and I ended up with: enter image description here


After all, I don't know how to use these abbreviations. Plus, is it common in the spoken language as a slang?

Edited with an example of the last one

Person 1: Hey you wanna go out later tonight?

Person 2: IHOP

Person 1: Damn, maybe next time

I appreciate every answer!

Bálint Pap

Posted 2017-01-10T15:29:08.057

Reputation: 1 032

4The first two are correct, but I'm not sure I have ever seen IHOP used as an internet acronym. Do you have any examples of it being used in a sentence? – mike – 2017-01-10T15:40:01.753

1Yes, I have. I'm gonna edit the post above. – Bálint Pap – 2017-01-10T15:43:05.740

23I have never seen IHOP used as an internet acronym except to mean "International House of Pancakes", in which case it has nothing to do with the first two. – stangdon – 2017-01-10T15:50:49.607

16I upvoted exclusively because IHOP made me laugh so much – G-Cam – 2017-01-10T18:47:13.440

1Ah, but perhaps Person2 already had plans to eat at IHOP, or regularly eats there, and Person1 hates eating there, and Person2 is aware of this so they didn't need to say anything else afterward. – M Conrad – 2017-01-11T04:32:23.787

Or person 2 is saying they already went out and ate at IHOP and don't want to go out again. – Todd Wilcox – 2017-01-11T12:48:38.460



  • IMO - in my opinion
  • IMHO - in my honest/humble opinion

Both of these are very well known internet acronyms, and have been used for many years.

Both expressions are more or less interchangeable, and in my humble opinion is not by itself sarcastic - it should be taken as being genuine sign of humility, unless something else in the sentence indicates otherwise. Its sincerity depends entirely on context. For example:

IMHO, I think that the MacBook pro is overpriced.

IMHO, you're an idiot.

...are worlds apart in their sincerity.

Based on the context of the conversation you provided, I am guessing that IHOP stands for I Have Other Plans, and is not a commonly used acronym from what I can see.

[edit] Apparently the Urban Dictionary agrees with the meaning of IHOP, and oddly, uses the same example that the OP provided.


Posted 2017-01-10T15:29:08.057

Reputation: 9 509

Ohh, I see! Never thought about that! However, is there any difference between the first two acronyms? Can be sarcastic or rude to use them? – Bálint Pap – 2017-01-10T15:59:10.187

4To my ear there's no difference between the two. Neither is usually rude; they're typically earnest expressions of opinion which communicate understanding that others may disagree. Of course this can be eclipsed when the opinion expressed (e.g. "you're an idiot") is rude pe se. – user34258 – 2017-01-10T16:17:17.753

Thank you, I was scared to may offend someone accidentally by using these abbreviations, but for now I get it! – Bálint Pap – 2017-01-10T16:26:04.997

5Some points about their usage: IMO and IMHO are typically spelled out (i.e. "eye-em-oh"), while IHOP is just pronounced "eye-hop". Also, since IMO/IMHO are internet acronyms, in formal written English and any spoken context, one would typically use the full phrase instead. – Harrison Paine – 2017-01-10T19:19:09.507

IMO "sarcastic" isn't quite the right word to describe IMHO, but I thought the basic meaning of IMHO was always "This is my opinion, and anybody who has a different opinion is just wrong". – alephzero – 2017-01-10T19:53:17.373

Despite the strong tendency to discard the distinction, I for one consider the distinction between abbreviation and acronym valuable and suggest that, however things are drifting, we are at least not yet at the point where an answer on this site should mix the two. IMO and IMHO are not acronyms. No one reads them as a word, they read them as letters, eye-em-oh and eye-em-aytch-oh. On the other hand, IHOP, at least when referring to the diner, is an acronym, pronounced eye-hop. No idea about IHOP meaning I have other plans since I have never encountered that. – KRyan – 2017-01-10T20:33:23.620

I think in the example used it still meant International House Of Pancakes, and Person 1 just really dislikes pancakes... – CactusCake – 2017-01-10T21:45:04.797

4Historically, on newsgroups, IMO meant "I'm phrasing this as an opinion, but I'm pretty sure it's right", while IMHO meant "I'm not sure, here's what I think". – isanae – 2017-01-10T22:50:26.253

Hmm, I would read/say Im-ho almost always, and Eye-mo sometimes (rather than spelling them out). But of course your mileage may vary. Or, as I like to say, yuuhmuuhv. (Juhk on that last one. And this one.) – 1006a – 2017-01-11T00:11:55.387

IMHO (in my humble opinion) dates back to a time when people were polite and deferential to fellow net users who could be as intelligent as the user. IMO gets rid of the connotation of humility arising from respect. – traktor53 – 2017-01-11T01:42:18.777


I've also seen IMNSHO. http://www.internetslang.com/IMNSHO-meaning-definition.asp

– verbose – 2017-01-11T09:08:55.413

@Traktor53 : it was really used a lot on newsgroups before "the September that never ended" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September)

– Olivier Dulac – 2017-01-11T12:24:06.383

4@verbose And IMNSHO highlights the fact that the H is usually "humble" not "honest", since it's used for "in my not so humble opinion". Saying "in my not so honest opinion" is possible, but it's not likely, and feels awkward. – Joshua Taylor – 2017-01-11T15:11:02.553

1Even Urban dictionary lists "I Have Other Plans" as the 16th definition, not the first, and that entry has more downvotes than upvotes. "International house of pancakes" is definitely the far more common meaning, even amongst Urban Dictionary users. – Ajedi32 – 2017-01-11T15:40:36.880

But can the H really stand for "honest"? That would really change the meaning of "IMHO"... IMHO. :P – Andrea Lazzarotto – 2017-01-11T16:44:52.507

A good answer overall, but "IMHO, I think that the MacBook Pro is overpriced" is redundant. It should just be "IMHO, the MacBook Pro is overpriced." – Nanigashi – 2019-05-27T03:54:03.077


I Hate Old People

I Hate Other People

I.H.O.P. a hard hit in football. referring to the common slang of pancake for the same meaning

IHOP (International House of Prayer) IHOP

iHOP Information Hyperlinked Over Proteins

IHOP International House of Pain (slang for sports conditioning)

IHOP Internal Heat or Pressure

IHOP International Health Opportunities Program

You would have to know the context to understand the acronym.


Posted 2017-01-10T15:29:08.057

Reputation: 4 604

1I thought it has similar meaning like the first two abbreviations, but instead of that it has plenty of different meaning! Thank you for the list! – Bálint Pap – 2017-01-10T16:31:48.360

3I just ask because I completely get all these things wrong. I often google them, and try to see if something fits. – WRX – 2017-01-10T16:33:28.220

Indeed, for every acronym one may find many fitting interpretations, depending on context (and on the reader's wit and amusement). And the same goes for words! – Olivier Dulac – 2017-01-11T12:25:48.820

IHOP >> I Have Other Plans. If you read the text exchange between the two people, it is pretty obvious what was meant. – Mario Levesque – 2017-01-11T21:13:23.793

@levteck That had already been in an answer, so I did not repeat it. Am I meant to? I try not to say what others have said first and perfectly well. I am still new here. Seriously, am I meant to repeat other people's points? – WRX – 2017-01-11T21:32:05.757


This one is very easy. IHOP - I have other plans

Alonso Jr

Posted 2017-01-10T15:29:08.057

Reputation: 19

While this might be correct, it just repeats what has already been said in other answers with no explanation. – ColleenV – 2017-01-11T21:44:51.727

@ColleenV, sorry, but what is there to explain? He just asked what the meaning was and I answered. – Alonso Jr – 2017-01-19T00:22:18.147


See this discussion on meta - Submitting Answers that merely answer the question. If this were the only answer that said "I have other plans" was what IHOP meant, it might view it a little differently, but it doesn't add anything to what is already here. The last two paragraphs of Mike's answer is a good example of adding an explanation to a simple answer.

– ColleenV – 2017-01-19T00:29:09.833


As you found in your research, it stands for International House of Pancakes.

There is no deeper meaning. It's just a similar-sounding acronym (IMO sounds like IMHO sounds like IHOP) inserted for humor's sake.

A similar usage is found in an acronym sometimes seen online: "OMGWTFBBQ": "oh my god, what the fuck, barbecue". Just as before, barbecue has nothing to do with the rest of the expression; it's just there to be silly.

duskwuff -inactive-

Posted 2017-01-10T15:29:08.057

Reputation: 489


Although I wouldn't regard the urban dictionary as a definitive source, when it comes to things like net-speak, it's usually reasonably accurate. Meaning of IHOP

– mike – 2017-01-11T08:56:42.743


@mike The definition you linked to is heavily downvoted on Urban Dictionary, to the point that it ranks below obvious jokes (like "Apple's version of jumping"). The top definition for IHOP on the site is, in fact, "International House of Pancakes".

– duskwuff -inactive- – 2017-01-11T16:48:36.673