HOME > Chowhound > Site Talk >


What does "DH" mean?


I've seen "DH" on several posts, and I surmise that it refers to a significant other or spouse, but what does the acronym stand for?

      1. re: janedoe67

        Or Darn Husband, depending on one's temperament.

        1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

          Or tendency to euphemize...

          I'm not gonna whine, since many of the folks who use "DH" on a regular basis are DPs (Dear Posters) of mine, but I do find it a tad cloying. I suppose it's a cultural thing; our family has always expressed its endearments up close and directly to one another, and affected a certain calm astringency in public.

          1. re: Will Owen

            Personally, I find it unbearable, and I admit that I usually stop reading a post once I come across it. But I have an unusually low tolerance for cutesiness, jargon, or public displays of endearments (My family is not exactly known for expression of endearments. There are occasionally extremely awkward hugs, but only if we haven't seen each other in over six months.)

            1. re: curiousbaker

              Ha! We must be related. I find DH unbearable as well. But then LOL also drives me crazy when people use it in reference to something they themselves have said (as in, "boy do i crack myself up!"). I agree that if typing out my husband, boyfriend, significant other, etc., is too much hassle, a simple initial is a non-annoying alternative, as Rubee said.

              1. re: curiousbaker

                bleech! I find it cloying as well.
                And my family hugs and kisses, even if we haven't seen each other in 10 years (yes, Italians!), so it's not just about public displays in general.
                Anonymous internet positioning, no thanks.

        2. I always thought it was meant to be a bit tongue in cheek- and just one more acronym to remember. Here is a link:

          1. Posts are full of acronyms, you'll do better keeping this link handy:


            1. If your from Chicago or a SNL fan....Da Husband

              1. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/352592
                heres and abbreviations glossary that might help

                1. DH simplifies things so I don't have to type my husband. That said, he looked over when I started using it and thought I was calling him a dumb head lol!!!

                  1. I use DH for short. The other sometimes suitable term is the Husbeast.

                    1. Ugh...unbearable acronym(s). It reads so housewifey, kaffeeklatsch, cutesy, suburban. Ick..treacle. Thank god "DH, etc." hasn't infiltrated other boards.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: aelph

                        On the contrary it's a common abbreviation on other boards which is where I first read it.

                        1. re: cheryl_h

                          I first saw this acronym when I was engaged and doing planning on a wedding/marriage board, so I always associated "DH" with besotted newlyweds. HA. Until I saw it on CH, I had only seen it on those boards.

                          I can't think of a good acronym (maybe we can come up with a good Chowish one!) so I settle for using my hsband's first initial - which is funny because when he comes to chow meets with new 'Hounds they always say "so this is E" and he looks at me funny :)

                          1. re: Rubee

                            I am a proudly besotted newlywed, so DH works for me

                          2. re: cheryl_h

                            I meant other boards on which I'm active. I don't know what I'd do if it reared it's ugly head

                            btw: look at the ring! look at the ring!

                            um...happily involved in a longterm relationship which has never instilled in me the need to resort to such blandishments:

                            s/o works just fine

                            1. re: cheryl_h

                              2nd this. I don't mean it as a term of endearment. Rather, I have enough typing to do as I am writing my dissertation full-time (as in 8 hours a day, less chowhound time--HAH!) and do not consider internet message boards to be the place to showcase my writing skills. For me, the point is to communicate quickly, because I have more important places to write well.

                          3. Ina Garten actually SAYS "dear husband" on her show all the time... Perhaps we can blame it on her.

                            1. I'm not a fan of uncommon shorthand. I prefer SO or Mr. allibear to DH or DW. They don't bother me as much because they are more common and therefore, more people will understand.

                              20 Replies
                                1. re: alliebear

                                  Perhaps you have a point. I think I may switch to SO if it disgusts fewer people :) I just don't think in my mind that people actually MEAN "dear husband." It just means husband to me.

                                  1. re: IndyGirl

                                    Yes, to me it's just a shorthand term. If anything I always thought the "dear" part was ironic. My own DH certainly recognizes this.

                                    1. re: cheryl_h

                                      heh, mine too. When on earth would I ever call him "dear" seriously? (j/k, kind of..)

                                    2. re: IndyGirl

                                      See, I don't like SO either! To me, this says, "I'm better than you because I call my husband a significant other!" I don't know- it just seems so, "going against tradition just to go against tradition"! I don't know- I'm not explaining myself very well! I just type out husband!! The only abbreviations I use are MIL or FIL, because that is SO much easier than typing it out, and they don't have any cutesy connotations.

                                      1. re: Katie Nell

                                        help me please,

                                        i thought
                                        SO = partner that was of the same same
                                        DW = dear wife
                                        DH = dear husband

                                        Not that it truly matters but i get a brain cramp when things do not line up in my grey matter

                                        1. re: jfood

                                          Actually, I know a lot of people in relationships with members of the opposite sex that still use significant other or partner - even married people who prefer the term partner.

                                          1. re: MMRuth

                                            Yes I do too. I think it usually means a permanent partner of any gender, a step more permanent than boyfriend/girlfriend.

                                            I knew someone who objected to being called SO or boyfriend but offered as alternatives: main squeeze, sweetums, love-of-my-life or wild thing. There are lots worse terms than DH.

                                            1. re: cheryl_h

                                              I am not letting my husband see that list, because he would insist on my calling him "wild thing".

                                            2. re: jfood

                                              SO = significant other, no matter the origin

                                              and what I meant to say is that someone using SO sounds so much like they are trying too hard not to conform to society! But, it doesn't really matter, posters I love use SO and posters I love use DH, and I love them just the same! :-)

                                              1. re: jfood

                                                I think SO just means partner, married or not, straight or gay. (At least that's what I've always thought)

                                                1. re: jfood

                                                  I use SO sometimes because we're not married, but have been together for over a decade... the term "boyfriend" sounds too juvenile/insignificant to my ears after all this time. There needs to be a better term for this sort of situation. Partner doesn't quite cut it for me, either.

                                                  1. re: emily

                                                    Yes, I agree with you there. Even after being with my now husband for four years and well on our way to marriage, I felt like boyfriend just didn't describe our relationship well. (God, I over analyze too much!)

                                                    1. re: Katie Nell

                                                      I don't like the word husband. Makes me think of animal husbandry and wife just sounds too wifey. I don't like partner because it sounds businesslike. So when I saw someone else use SO on this board, I happily adopted it. I sort of like the fact that anyone can use it, male or female, married or not, straight or not.

                                                    2. re: emily

                                                      "the term "boyfriend" sounds too juvenile/insignificant to my ears after all this time. There needs to be a better term for this sort of situation. Partner doesn't quite cut it for me, either. "
                                                      My mother always used POSSLQ (pronounced Pah-Sel-Q) for Persons of the Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters." :-)

                                                        1. re: soupkitten

                                                          You got me, soupkitten. I'm assuming it has something to do with same sex relationships? :-)

                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                            "common-law husband"-- works for any combination of genders, assuming they live together.

                                                            i 'm all for abbreviating obvious things (clh not a good example of obvious!). . . i use dh and for me it's less cutesy than "hubs" "hubby" and other frequently read terms. other people come up with clever, or overly cutesy, depending on your pov, names for their so's or partners. or dcs. or whatever. generally it doesn't have anything to do with the "meat" of the thread-- okay the op was eating, and there was another person there, and "superchowifey" or "dh" or "bob" or whomever said their fries were crispy but the wine was too sweet. great, whatever.

                                                            i can't help reading "dh" and "dw" as phonetic words-- "dh"= DUH! and "dw"=DOH! hee hee.

                                                            1. re: soupkitten

                                                              i can't help reading "dh" and "dw" as phonetic words-- "dh"= DUH! and "dw"=DOH! hee hee.
                                                              Now you've done it. That's probably the way I'll "read" it in my mind from now on as well. ;-D

                                            3. I don't give it much thought. I am too busy reading comments and recipes and I'm not easily irritated with people that find a shortcut in typing. It's all good.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. There's a gentleman on the boards who refers to his wife as SWMBO -- She Who Must Be Obeyed. That cracks me up every time I read it. :-D

                                                1. Wow, cloying? Pretty high standards from the crowd. I am more interested in content than typing so place me on the side of less typing to get the pint across is better. But then again i am from NJ and we strive to economize words.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                    I am the same...as much as I can type as fast as I can type and as clearly as possible.

                                                    Very different from my dissertation life where everything is long and drawn-out.

                                                  2. As much as I love Chowhound, I often think that the opening page should include something about Hounds will truly complain about anything no matter how trivial. This thread proves my theory.

                                                    I'm waiting for a thread complaining that a restaurant put the salt shaker on the right side of the table rather than the left or some such nonsense.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                      Don't be too harsh on your fellow Hounds, Janet. I think it's a tribute to the community that everyone feels safe enough that they can vent.

                                                      As for me, I'd no sooner tell someone not to use DH than I'd tell them what to call their husband in the privacy of the bedroom. If something's a pretty widely accepted acronym (and DH is, no matter what other boards are using it), pointing someone to a FAQ with common abbreviations if they have a question is sufficient. Demanding they use something else is just being mean. Then again, I don't correct other people's spelling either, though I am a professional copy editor. Maybe I'm just going soft. ;-)

                                                      1. re: Covert Ops

                                                        I think you sound right on track :)

                                                        1. re: Covert Ops

                                                          As a fellow editor, I am constantly striving not to correct spelling and grammar on the boards. I never say anything though it bugs me to no end. This is not a classroom but an internet discussion board. So I, too, struggle with what to call my main squeeze. We have been together almost a decade and "boyfriend" is ridiculous once you are out of your twenties. We plan on marrying but are not officially "engaged" so SO, DH, Mr. Mojo, whatever are interchangeable and nothing anyone else uses offends me..

                                                      2. I get the impression from this discussion that significantly more than half of the members here are female...true? (Just curious.)

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: nsxtasy

                                                          Well for most of us who use DH in their posts... correct... LOL! :)


                                                          1. re: trvlcrzy

                                                            And IH for International Husband?

                                                            1. re: small h

                                                              trvlcrzy made an evident mistake, the meaning was: "Domesticated Husband"

                                                              1. re: RicRios

                                                                I believe my wife says that at this point in our marriage it means "Dessicated Husband" ;-D>

                                                                1. re: RicRios

                                                                  Ah. Then the opposite of that is FH. Feral husband. I know some of those.

                                                                  1. re: small h

                                                                    Gatekeepers, help!!!
                                                                    ( Where are you when we need you??? )

                                                            2. I use DH simply because there's less typing involved. I'm the Queen of Edits. (tQoE) I'd use all acronyms if I thought others would be able to translate...

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. I just found this thread cause I read Gio/Joe religiously :)

                                                                I really don't like DH one bit. A while back I started imitating steve h. who calls his wife by her name, Deb. Luckily Bob is a short name. But what I loathe, despise, detest, hate, etc. is.......... HUBBY...............!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have adult married friends of all ages and I have NEVER heard a single one of them call their male spouse "HUBBY." Men don't say "WIFEY," do they? It's still two syllables and it's only two letters shorter than "husband." Is it only on CH? Is it supposed to be cute?

                                                                Whew, I will now return you to your regular programming. Rant over. But please, people...think about. Pretty please?

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  Men do say "wifey" but generally does not mean wife in that context but a serious girlfriend.

                                                                  I generally don't have an issue with acronyms (and I can't stand texting -- just made my co-worker text somebody back for me on my phone as it takes me 5 minutes to string together a sentence -- I've got an old-school phone). But I do find it confusing when people use SIL as it can mean either son-in-law or sister-in-law.

                                                                  1. re: Miss Needle

                                                                    Thanks. I only have sons-in-laws and no sister-in-law so completely never thought about the latter.

                                                                  2. re: c oliver

                                                                    c oliver, I am 100% behind you.

                                                                  3. Folks, the question has long since been answered and this thread is getting into people sharing their language peeves. We really want everyone to feel welcome to share their opinions, regardless of how they choose their words, so we're going to lock this now.