This expression can be used before or after a statement to stress that you are specifying an honest viewpoint. Variations on this expression include "To be flawlessly honest (with you)," "In all honesty," and also "In my viewpoint."
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To be honest has actually become such an usual expression in English that it deserves its very own acronym!
TO BE HONEST, I DON’T REALLY FEEL LIKE GOING OUT TONIGHT → TBH I DON’T REALLY FEEL LIKE GOING OUT TONIGHT.
I NEVER GOT ALONG WITH HIM, TO BE HONEST. → I NEVER GOT ALONG WITH HIM, TBH.
TO BE HONEST, I DON’T THINK THIS RELATIONSHIP IS WORKING OUT. → TBH I DON’T THINK THIS RELATIONSHIP IS WORKING OUT.
Typically, this abbreviation is texted over the phone or some other messaging platform (on facebook or instagram), however it can periodically be used in spoken speech too, normally by young people that have the tendency to text frequently or are trying to be amusing. When talked, it is obvious T-B-H (ti-bi-aitch).
Also note that there is not truly a conventional capitalization or punctuation criterion for TBH and also similar phrases, because texted speech itself is not extremely standardized.
Youngsters have the tendency to create it out lowercase (either tbh or Tbh), with or without a comma following it. Those that are less tech-savvy might spell it out in all caps (TBH).
( Over message).
A: WHAT ARE YOU UP TO RIGHT NOW?
B: NOT MUCH. I’M PRETTY BORED TBH
A: WANNA GO TO THE BOWLING PARTY TONIGHT?
B: TBH, NOT REALLY…
A: LOL WHY? SEEMS LIKE YOU DON’T HAVE ANYTHING BETTER TO DO
( In person).
A: I FEEL LIKE SO MANY PEOPLE CAN’T WAIT FOR THE SCHOOL YEAR TO BE OVER.
B: OH, YEAH. TBH, I’M ONE OF THEM.
A: WHAT PLANS DO YOU HAVE FOR THIS SUMMER?
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