The Meaning of INB4: What It Is and How To Use It

Ever wondered what INB4 means? This guide will provide you with all of the necessary information on the internet abbreviation INB4, including its meaning, usage, sentence examples, and more!

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 What does the slang term INB4 mean?

According to Cyber Definitions, the acronym INB4 stands for “in before.” It means to steal someone’s thunder and take the glory for oneself, or to beat someone else to the punch. Generally, it is used to mean to reply to something before someone else does. This term is commonly used on social media sites like Reddit, 4chan and TikTok, as well as by a commenter on online message boards, internet forums, or discussion forums. According to Nsouly, these message boards usually have subject matter that revolves around nerd and geek culture. If one attempts to use INB4 on other social media platforms outside of this subculture, one may not know what they mean. This term has a limited audience and should only be used on this niche messageboards.

Lifewire states that INB4 is used as a part of a conversation as a reply to someone else in a thread of replies. An active member may use INB4 followed by a comment that they predict someone else will reply. This is similar to people who comment “first” when they are the first people to comment. This is similar to INB4, except with “first” the only goal is to be the first to comment. With INB4, people use this for humorous effect to state that they are commenting something before someone else does.

There are a few popular INB4 comments. INB4 is commonly used in phrases such as “INB4 ban,” or “in before ban,” which means that someone is commenting before the original poster gets banned for inappropriate comment by moderators. There is also “INB4 mods delete,” which is similar, and states that someone is commenting before the moderators of the forum delete the original post by the message board user in the online community. In these comments, people use the phrase INB4 to anticipate an action.

Know Your Meme states that INB4 was initially used on 4chan and other imageboard or messageboard sites to mark threads that would soon be cycled out by administrators. These users would post the comment “INB4 lock” or “in before lock.” These phrases were posted to Urban Dictionary for the first time in 2006 and 2007.

How can the term INB4 be used in a sentence?

The term INB4 can be used in almost any Reddit forum as a response to an original post or comment. This is usually one of the first comments and is used to make a joke about the post or comment. 

In this first example, the original poster posted for help in a dog owner subreddit asking for advice on dog harnesses. She owns a Shiba Inu.

Original Poster: Hi all. Looking for a high-quality harness that my Shiba Inu cannot chew through! She is able to get her little jaw underneath the harness on walks and has eaten her way through three different harnesses. I am at my wit’s end. Help!

First Commenter: INB4 doge memes.

Here, the first commenter has nothing to say about recommending an indestructible harness to the original poster. However, since the original poster owns a Shiba Inu, the first commenter knows that it is likely for someone to comment the doge meme of a Shiba Inu. Thus, he decides to comment “INB4 doge memes.”

What are other commonly used internet slang terms used on message boards?

Theory of Reddit lists a long glossary of terms one may see on Reddit or other internet forum sites. When one is new to these online forums, seeing many different abbreviations may be jarring or confusing. However, with the below definitions, one is sure to know exactly what a commenter means on various subreddits or other forums.

  • X-Post – “Cross post,” indicating that something has been posted on multiple different forums.
  • WIP – Work In Progress
  • Whoosh – Commented to indicate that a joke went over someone’s head.
  • TL;DR – Too Long; Didn’t Read – Used to summarize a long post in a humorous way. Sometimes the original poster does not do this and it is up to another commenter to post the summary.
  • TIL – Today I Learned
  • THIS – Indicates that someone agrees with someone else’s comment. Sometimes this is used in place of an upvote, or a “like” on a certain comment.
  • Sub – Short for subreddit, or a sub-forum on the website Reddit.
  • Shadow ban – This refers to a site-wide ban on a specific user that they are unaware of, usually the result of breaking the website’s rules.
  • Reddiquette – A name for the rules of the website Reddit.
  • Power user – A Reddit user with a high karma score who many people on the website or subreddit recognize.
  • NSFW – Not Safe For Work
  • Neckbeard – A derogatory term for Reddit users, referring to the poor hygiene or shabby appearance of the traditionally perceived Reddit user.
  • Karma – This refers to the points system that Reddit uses based on upvotes (likes) and downvotes (dislikes.)
  • IMO – In My Opinion
  • FTFY – Fixed That For You
  • ETA – Edited to Add
  • ELI5 – Explain Like I’m 5 (Years Olf)
  • DAE – Does Anyone Else?
  • AMA – Ask Me Anything

Overall, while the please INB4 is not as widespread as something like LOL, OMG, or SMH, it still has its place on popular message boards. The term INB4 stands for “in before” and is used to predict what other people will comment. This trending phrase is commonly seen on sites like Reddit and 4chan in predominantly geek-dominated spaces.