The term "PHP" (no, not the programming language) stands for pemberi harapan palsu which roughly means giver of false hope in English. An example of usage would be:

"Sialan lo, PHP ya! Katanya mau dikasih KFC eh taunya nasi padang!"

"Damn you, you GoFH! You said you were gonna buy me KFC! Instead you get me this nasi padang piece of crap!"

Does anyone know of a similar phrase I can use in place of PHP in english?

  • 1
    Should it depend on the fact whether or not the giver gave the false hope intentionally?
    – klaar
    Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 12:02

3 Answers 3


"Damn you, you deluder! You said you were gonna buy me KFC! Instead...

A deluder is someone who deceives thoroughly. Not specific for "false hopes", it often conveys that meaning, though.

  • delude - to mislead the mind or judgment 0f, deceive ("delude" implies deceiving so thoroughly as to obscure the truth. e.g. "we were deluded into thinking we were safe".

  • The human mind is the great deluder and knows what is needed by you and divulges only that much information. It has the power to hide and cover up with deliberation other things which are not needed for its main purpose. The Flute of Truth

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    Deluder doesn't really convey the meaning of "giver of false hope" naturally enough. Maybe one word isnt enough for this phrase! Commented Feb 9, 2016 at 12:44

The usual way of putting this is

You raised their hopes, only to dash them [again].

This is in quite a formal register, though.

Probably at least as formal is

a waterless cloud (mentioned in the Book of Jude). Someone who promises to deliver, but is mere talk.

You might like to look at: Ron Adema: [Studies on] The Book of Jude: The ‘Waterless Cloud’ Metaphor.


You could consider using castles in the air:

plans or hopes that have very little chance of happening

Your example:

Stop building castles in the air. You promised to buy me KFC, but you buy me this?

[Cambridge Idioms Dictionary, 2nd ed.]

The better term is "bullshit artist" or "bull shitter" but their usage is informal and colloquial.

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