"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
Desensitised word that is used by any person who likes, or is affiliated with rap,or who enjoys crap music in generla. It is a term used to encompass any form of rock music in a derogatory way. Originally referring to a narrow genre of Emotive metal and hard rock, it was used by MTV and other music channels to describe a bunch of bands who dress a certain way. People who listen to a certain type of music BECAUSE of the way they dress(ie skinny jeans, tight shirts) can be described as Emos(note the diffence to dressing a certain way to reflect their music choice). Emo is now a style of dress more than anything. Emos can also be described as hissy cutters. Emo was originally a type of good ol' fashioned pioneer rock and metal. But now its a word that is thrown around and makes all true rocker cringe.
Rap Guy: man, you listen to system of a down and Alice Copper and stuff? What an Emo!
Rock Guy: Shut up you inferior being, you know nothing. May your children be consumed by a thousand hungry spiders.
by Mattchew B July 29, 2007
Emos are a group of people, or a trend that has influenced and encouraged suicidal tendencies and hatred towards life and everyone and everything in it. I pity them, and understand that they may have hard lives at home and such, but it isn't worth the self-destruction that they pour on themselves. Think about this, unless you're an Emo, then you're just plain wrong, and I don't give a damn what you think. If you think that Emos should die, you'd be rigt. But think about what their situation could be like at home. Overall, don't judge them onsight, leave that to God; he'll probably send them straight to hell.
Emos: Man im so depressed, im gonna go cut myself and drink myself to death cuz i have nothing better to do.

Me: Stop cutting youself. Don't be Emo, you'll just get criticised. Go fill you life with something meaningful, not drugs, alchohol and sex. Gain something which can't be taken from you ever.
by Convert the emos June 23, 2007
a way of life that is either often rejected or misinterpreted. those that are emo will never admit to actually being emo because then that would be another form of conforming to a meaningless consumer driven life. emos are driven in a meaningless life but they do not allow themselves to become consumed in materialistic items. they are vampires to society, never will they accepted. nor do they wish to be. they view life as constantly shitting on them and personally i agree. life does always find its little ways of making those humble suffer enernally
emo is a way of life often misinterpreted as a fashion statement
by holly woods June 16, 2007
if all of u think that emo is short for emotional then u r all emo. every one has emotions and get emotioinal. emos are comfortable with showing their emotions unlike the rest of you who are too pussy to show your emotions. GROW THE FUCK UP! so leave us "EMOS" alone. and for thoes of u who think that My Chemical Romance is emo u are greatly mistaken. they are the best band and are great at what they do. so leave them alone. they actually help to save peoples lives.
everyone is free to express themselves emos actually do it!
and me, C, i'm "emo", an honor student and my best friend is a cheerleader so what now!
by randi and couri June 11, 2007
A depressing subculture. Subculture deriving from 'sub' (below) and 'culture' (culture) meaning "Below/insignificant/lower culture".

The collective term for which is unanimously a 'futility of emos'.
I was down at my record shop, and towards the back I saw this massive futility of emos just standing there silently.
by froggerchanovsky May 19, 2007
It does not mean to cut your wrists or wear skinny jeans or have side bangs. To cut your wrists means your depressed, to wear skinny jeans is along the lines of clothing and fashion, and having side bangs is about hair. Being Emo, is not possible because Emo is a music genre, meaning "Emotive Hardcore" and last that I have heard, people can not be a music genre
1. No one uses this word correctly.

2. This Emotive Hardcore music is very Emotive Hardcore
by Abigailea May 05, 2007
Distressed kid that just can't cut it in the gothic world, so he lowers his standards to a depressed emo kid
"Fuck satan! i can't do this anymore im demoting myself to an emo kid. Hours are better and I am fucking sick of that satanic book its too shallow and unemotional."
by Ev Dawg April 28, 2007

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