I found the word YMMV in an answer to my question "How important to write down mission statement in learning English? Do I have to?", which I posted on January 6.
As YMMV is a quite strange word to me, I consulted Urban dictionary, and found that it's an abbreviation of Your Mileage May Vary, meaning your results will be varied and that is often used in forum talk. However, is the expression Your mileage may vary by itself a well-established idiom? Do baby-boomers use this expression casually in day-to-day conversation? Would I raise somebody's eyebrows if I use the abbreviation YMMV in ordinary conversation? Please teach me.

  • Some more information from wiktionary:
    – Hatshepsut
    May 17, 2016 at 5:26
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    "In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency requires a set of standard emissions tests on all new vehicles which simulate city and highway driving. Part of the test measures estimated city and highway gas mileage estimates. Since no test can exactly simulate all driving habits and conditions, actual gas mileage of each vehicle will vary. As a result, when these estimated mileage claims from automobile manufacturers appear in advertisements, they are almost always accompanied with the standard disclaimer "your mileage may vary.""
    – Hatshepsut
    May 17, 2016 at 5:26

1 Answer 1


"Your mileage may vary" is a well known phrase in the US and can be used in casual conversation. I have never heard anyone spell out "Y M M V" in spoken conversation as opposed to "A S A P" which I hear spoken out loud a lot.

I would never use the phrase or the abbreviation YMMV in any formal writing.

However, it is a nice shorthand phrase in casual discussions to convey the idea that "What I just told you has been my experience in certain situations. You might see similar results, then again, you might not."

At least, that's what I think. YMMV :-)

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    Thank you for your quick answer, John. I wish MMMNV - my mileage may not vary from the goal for Englishu mastery. - yoichi Jan 7, 2011 at 22:29
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    @Yoichi Oishi: I would kindly suggest you accept @John Satta's answer, since you have found it useful. You should also go back to the other 10 questions you have asked and accept the best/most useful answers. This way, users will not waste time giving answers that are not needed. It would also afford users the recognition they deserve. @John Satta ought to be awarded a sliver badge right now, but that is dependent on your accepting his answer :)
    – Jimi Oke
    Jan 9, 2011 at 6:23
  • @Yoichi Oishi - thank you for kindly accepting my answer and for accepting answers on your other questions. Welcome to the site and I hope you enjoy the community here.
    – John Satta
    Jan 9, 2011 at 12:59
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    ++Brownie points for using the phrase in your answer.
    – Andy
    Jan 28, 2011 at 16:45

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