What Does INB4 Mean & How to Use It in a Sentence?

What does INB4 mean?

INB4 is an abbreviation (or acronym) that means:

In Before.

As is the case with many texting abbreviations, the INB4 meaning doesn’t tell you all that much by itself. We will need to explain the origin of the acronym and show you a few examples of it how you can use it in a sentence.

Let’s get into it!

what does inb4 mean

How Do You Use INB4 in a Sentence?

INB4, followed by a statement, is usually used in online messaging boards (forums, Reddit threads) as a sure prediction of someone else saying a particular thing later in the thread. By using INB4, you are jumping ahead of the pack and commenting on something “in before” someone else undoubtedly does so themselves.

For that reason, the usual way you can use INB4 in a sentence is as follows:

“INB4” + “statement or comment you are expecting/predicting”

As you can see, this particular acronym exists to be used in active and popular messaging boards, as it usually requires high user engagement to make any sense. The chances are that you won’t be hearing most people use such a term in real-life conversations.

Related: What Does OFN Mean? (On Foe Nem Acronym Explained)

INB4 Synonyms

To better understand the meaning of INB4 as an abbreviation, here are a few synonyms (although not all of them match the meaning perfectly):

  • steal someone’s thunder;
  • grab the glory for yourself;
  • beat someone to it;
  • make the first move;
  • be one jump ahead (of someone).

Examples of INB4 Used in a Sentence

Let’s take a look at a few examples:

Example #1

You are browsing your favorite subreddit and wasting a few hours of the day, as per usual. Suddenly, you come across a post that you know will trigger quite a few people. You decide to write:

inb4 the angry mob gets here

This means you anticipate that a large part of the community will get angry about the post, and a heated discussion will start. You are jumping ahead of everyone and showing that you can see the future. Well, not really, but you get the point.

Example #2

If you see a shady question asked somewhere you know it doesn’t belong, you can expect the moderators of the subreddit or the forum to delete it relatively soon. In such a situation, you can comment:

inb4 mods delete this

It’s quite simple; you are predicting that the post will get deleted soon, and you are taking the chance to comment while you can.


Here are some common iterations of the “in b4” acronym:

  • in b4 Togepi – Someone will definitely soon respond by posting a picture of Togepi, a Pokemon often used to troll people on forums and threads.
  • in b4 404 – This particular iteration was popular on 4chan initially. It was a way of letting others know that you anticipate the thread to be removed and you have saved the contents elsewhere before that happens.
  • in b4 b& – This is short for “in before banned.” It means that the poster will soon get banned by the moderators due to breaking the board rules.
  • in b4 v& – This is short for “in before van.” It started out as a meme on 4chan, where users joked about being constantly monitored by an FBI van. The same agents from that (party) van will perform a house raid on those posting and commenting on inappropriate content.

INB4 Origin

If you are wondering how this term came to be, let’s cover that shortly as well:

INB4 originated on 4chan as a slightly longer phrase, “in before the lock.” For those of you unfamiliar with it, 4chan is a somewhat notorious, anonymous series of forums that are entirely off-limits. An excellent article Washington Post wrote explains everything you need to know.

The thing about 4chan is that threads expire after a particular time. For that reason, people used “in before the lock” to comment on a thread before it would be deleted or locked (hence the phrase).

And what about INB4?

The abbreviation “in b4” first appeared on 4chan back in March of 2007, while the first Urban Dictionary definition of the acronym appeared only a month later.

As you can see, this particular acronym has been with us since the relatively early days of the internet, and it is currently as popular as ever.

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