"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
A sherri, a person whom drives with their chin in the sky
A emo drives with their chin in the sky
by Matt - Travis December 16, 2007
big gayends who like to whine a lot
typical emos conversation:
Emo 1: i am a gayend
Emo 2: lets go be big gayends together
by kingofthegypsies November 24, 2007
basically a word meaning your a little pussy that sits at home crying about shit like your big screen tv remote is lost so now you cant listen to your fudge packing music like panic at the disco or some gay shit like that i dont know realy but they all need to shut the hell up and hurry up and kill themselves cause theres too many people that say they're gonna do it but theres a shit load of emos that are more alive than me and the rest of the world would like
do u see that pussy... thats an emo
by BoB the pickle destroyer November 18, 2007
a guy who's extremely in touch with his feminine side, and bitches and complains about everything. also obsessed with wearing girls' clothing. It's a well known fact that all emo boys are faggots. soft, pussy faggots.end of story.
Brett: i just turned emo
Me: Fuck you, ya pussy.
by Music_Man October 14, 2007
1. A person who dresses in tight jeans; wears black eyeliner; listens to Good Charlotte or Dashboard Confessional or another such band; has a hairstyle remarkably similar to a mullet but in reverse; quite often cuts themself but doesn't in fact want to kill themself.

2. A genre of music popularized by MTV to propagate the Emo Fad
Wow. You know I think that Jeff is turning Emo.

Fuck I hate emo music.
by Gowan Edlund September 30, 2007
It's a word that recently seems to have lost all meaning. It is not music. It is not a style of how people dress. It is not people who cut themselves. It is not a watered down style of goth. It is a almost meaningless word like nice. It is a word that was poked, prodded, overused and left to rot.
That pink and red striped shirt is sooo emo.
You're emo.
Emo music sucks.
by Squeaks64 June 25, 2007
Usually a white person, their activites include cutting, crying, writing poetry, and doing non-people things. When sad can be really really depressed. Emos' can also be used for curb stomps. (teeth pressed lightly on a curb, while another person rapidly steps on back of head. Leading to emo with no teeth.)
Hey! Look at that emo! lets go curb stomp him. :]
by haha pie. May 27, 2007

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