What on Earth Does HBIC Stand For?

Use this acronym wisely or not at all

HBIC
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You won't see the acronym HBIC as often as other popular acronyms, but when you do see it, you'll most likely have a difficult time guessing what it means straight off the top of your head.

HBIC stands for:

Head B**** In Charge

To make things perfectly clear without having to be openly vulgar about it, that B-word rhymes with "switch" and "stitch." Basically fill in those asterisks with -itch and you'll get the picture.

The Meaning of HBIC

HBIC is used to describe an individual who is perceived to hold an authoritative position or other or an individual who appears to have desirable qualities that others don't. Because it contains the B-word, it's often used to reference a female—although not always. An individual may be dubbed the HBIC because of their feminine-like energy or power, regardless of their actual gender.

HBIC is all about status and to inflate the individual's ego. It's basically the same as saying that one person (the HBIC) is better than everyone else.

The Origin of HBIC

Believe it or not, HBIC has its roots in reality television. It was popularized by reality TV personality Tiffany Pollard, best known from the competitive dating show Flavor of Love and spinoff I Love New York. The two shows aired throughout 2006 and 2007.

HBIC was a nickname Pollard gave to herself, which she frequently used throughout the show to intimidate the other women in the competition.

In addition to coining the acronym that's now frequently used on social media, Pollard's dramatic and self-centered personality inspired internet users to turn several screencap moments of her TV appearances into memes.

Examples of How HBIC Is Used

"Chloe is the real hbic of our sorority."

"I'm the hbic of a group project that's due Friday but tbh I'd rather just spend all week eating cheetos."

"Taylor Swift never lets the haters get to her. True HBIC."

When You Should and Shouldn't Use HBIC

The most important thing to remember is that the use of HBIC is based on personal perspective. An individual who appears to deserve the HBIC status to one person may not appear to deserve it in the eyes of another. 

Despite the subjective nature of this particular acronym, there are a few guidelines you should consider following if you plan on making HBIC a part of your online/text vocabulary.

Use HBIC when:

  • You want to show your admiration for someone else in a playful, casual sense. Many people describe their idols, role models, and other inspirational people as the HBIC because in their minds, they truly are great. If you want to simply express how wonderful a particular person is because of their art, intelligence, generosity, or other characteristics that make them admirable, casually referring to them as the HBIC is probably fine. 
  • You want to inflate your own or somebody else's ego by using humor. HBIC is a way to inflate an individual's ego, which can be very entertaining when you're going for that exaggerative type of humor. Calling yourself or somebody else the HBIC instead of the leader or boss (whether true or not) in a joking way can make for a pretty funny and interesting post or text message.

    Don't use HBIC when:

    • You are speaking to or about someone who has real authority over you. It's probably a bad idea to refer to your boss, your professor, your mother or any other authoritative individual as the HBIC. If they are in an authoritative position relative to you, then they deserve to be treated kindly and with respect. After all, you're not going to earn any brownie points at all by calling them the B-word.
    • You're referring to someone with no clear feminine energy/power. The B-word is a vulgar word typically used to describe a female or feminine-like individual, so it wouldn't make sense to use it in reference of a very masculine individual. Sorry, but if you want to rant to your spouse about your very Don Draper-like boss, calling him the HBIC just won't really work.
    • You aren't really trying to be funny. Unless you're expressing genuine admiration of another individual, using HBIC in a serious context can make you sound condescending and disrespectful—particularly if you're using it in reference to yourself. You can certainly crack a joke by calling yourself the HBIC without ruffling anyone's feathers, but used without at at least touch humor, it might not make you look so good.