A subculture that borrows heavily from punk, goth and metal. Lacking the interest to actually delve any deeper than fashion and body language the subculture is shallow and empty of ideological substance, cultural history, and original creativity. Popular media and urban folklore attribute the name, "emo" to the word, "emotion" or "emotive." Both incorrect. In the 1980's when this subculture was emerging the response to the appearance and behavior was compared to the comedian, Emo Phillips. The reference caught on, unfortunately the definition never caught up. Punks were the originators of the "emo" reference, which was quickly accepted by goths, metal heads and all tribes hardcore. It is hard to accept that a bunch of punks would have selected the term, "emotional" or "emotive" to insult a group of softcore punks. The truth is that the idiotic humor practiced by the comedian and his idiotic appearance were the inspiration for the insult.
"Yo, that kid looks like emo phillips! Hey emo, I'm gonna kick your ass!" Circa 1980's