"Emo" is not short for "Emotional." "Emo" does not mean Taking Back Sunday and Dashboard Confessional, despite what MTV has lead you to believe in the last few years. "Emo" is not sidebangs, tight pants, and male vocalists who sing like little girls about their failed relationships. "Emo" is not the use of diluted, meaningless metaphors and similes such as "My arms are like pinecones," and most definitely is not the rampant use of words such as "autumn," "heart," "knife," "bleeding," "leaves," and "razorblade."

I just thought I'd clear that up after all of these "definitions" in which I have encountered an unbelievable amount of people who try to pass off their blatantly false pretenses as fact, and are slowly infecting others with their high-horse, holier-than-thou bullshit. Because honestly, with your ridiculous definitions, Beethoven, George Gershwin, and Britney Spears are/was "emo bands."

Now, onto the real definition.

In the early 90s there was a movement in the hardcore genre that came to be known as "Emotive Hardcore," spearheaded by Rites Of Spring. Harder-core-than-thou kids, who swore by Dischord Records a la Minor Threat, actually coined the term "Emo" as something of a put-down for the kids who really liked Rites Of Spring, Indian Summer and this new wave of "Emotive" Hardcore bands. That's right, "Emo" was once not something kids called themselves. The field exploded outwards from there - Level-Plane Records has always been the most famous Emo label. Acts like Yaphet Kotto, I Hate Myself, Saetia, Hot Cross, A Day In Black And White, Funeral Diner, I Would Set Myself On Fire For You, You And I, and hosts of others came in the next decade. Most emo bands have since broken up, but there's still the occasional hold-out (again, the majority of Level-Plane Records' roster has been a procession of emo acts). Like most DIY hardcore/punk of the time, a majority found its way onto vinyl and not much else. Some people consider bands like Fugazi, and later Sunny Day Real Estate, a progression of emo, but personally, I don't quite follow that philosophy.

Often, more recently, this gets intertwined with post-hardcore, and understandably so - that's nothing to make an issue of, since well shit, at least it's close.

Since the late 90s, though, bands have been emerging in the vein of Taking Back Sunday, Dashboard Confessional, and the thousands of their clones. As far as I can tell, some lazy journalist somewhere, writing an article about them, decided "Well, fuck, no one knows what emo is anyways, so I'll call these bands "emo" - sounds more appealing than bubblegum pop rock..." and the spiral continued downwards into the current amalgomation of bands MTV has told everyone is "emo."

Somehow, people decided that "emo" meant "emotional," which is obviously bullshit, as 99% of bands make music to illicit emotion, which would make "emotional" a completely all-encompassing genre from classical to opera to pop to rap.

Hope that helps.
Taking Back Sunday, Senses Fail, and My Chemical Romance falls under the "horrible pop rock" genre, not the emo genre.

Rites of Spring is emo.
by Chelsea March 02, 2005
Ok, emo and punk are NOT alike at all. Goth and emo also not a like at all. Emo is just a new bullshit genre of music and new style that steals it's sounds and look from other things.

Emo is a style that has becoem popular, mainly teens pretending to be depressed for attention, dressing like tranvestites mixed with clothing from other styles and genres, make up sad stories also for attention, and some are dumb enough to go to self mutilation to fit in or get attention.
Emo cunt: My life is so depressing! My dog died! *tear*
Punk: *curbs* Stop fucking crying, my parents just kicked me out and my brother died of a heroin overdose and I'm not fucking complaining.
by Evil_Elmo June 17, 2007
The word emo is short for emotional. Originally used to define music that was "overly" emotional, normally quite dark sounding rock music. Now often used to describe fans of this music or as an insult. If you have any of these you are leaving yourself open to being called an emo: a fringe across your face, converse, vans, skinny jeans, scars on your arms or legs for what ever reason, rock band t-shirts, black clothes of any description, and patterned shoe laces. A stereotype of emo is someone who has dark hair, thick-rimmed glasses, converse, skinny jeans and are so depressed that they self-harm.

Emo also sounds like the japanese for potato. (imo is the romanji version but is prounced emo)
They're so emo.
That band is so emo.
Girl #1: All emos are stupid
Girl #2: Have you ever cried?
Girl #1: yeah...
Girl #2: Have you ever laughed?
Girl #1: Yeah...
Girl #2: Have you ever smiled.
Girl #1: yeah...
Girl #2: Then you're emo because emo is short for emotional and laughing and crying means you're being emotional.
by M'rika June 16, 2007
Those individuals who, in a society that is based in the real and lacking in feelings, feel things more and in a "different" way.
I am emo when I cut myself.
by Johnny Me June 12, 2007
guys who happen to be women. i hate emos more than they hate themselves.
emo kid's thoughts: girls think guys in girl pants is hot. girls think emotional guys are worth sleeping with. lets go emo.
by ihateemos June 09, 2007
extreme emo-ness. some one who displays great powers of being weird and sentimental about everything. i.e. chick flicks and funny clothing styles
person 1: dude, sam is so emo.
person 2: yeah, he needs to work on that. He's been like that for weeks now
by pouches May 07, 2007
Usually wearing tight black skinny jeans, skinny tshirts or band tshirts,studded belts,converse style shoes, usually has dyed black/brown straight hair, wears lots of jewellrey sweatbands/bangles to cover up cut wrists, will cut themselves, be depressed most of the time, shy, hates themselves, want to kill themselves, listens to my chemical romance, panic! at the disco, taking back sunday, lostprophets, 30 seconds to mars, funeral for a friend etc. basically me!
Emos hates themselves and crys themselves to sleep
by freakyemo April 16, 2007
emo-short for emotional, often expressed through sadness, a distinct style of clothing and often veganism or vegetarianism.

The popular idea that all emos are anorexic, sweater wearing, wrist cutting fags with tight pants is just another stereotype in a very stereotyped world. Is like saying that all Italians are fat chefs that make pizza, and while that is true for a small percent of people it is not the case. emo is just short for emotional, a type of music, and can mean many things and can be expressed in many ways by wearing many types of clothing and other actions.
person: Whoa! that emo kid isn't at all what I thought emos were like! I guess I am a dumb-ass after all!

emo: yeah. I guess you are.
by #%^! April 01, 2007
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