What Do “WYD” and “HYD” Mean, and How Do You Use Them?

What You Doing WYD
Vann Vicente

Are you about to start a conversation with someone? The acronyms WYD and HYD are the shortest ways to initiate a back-and-forth with a friend. Find out what they mean, and how to use them here.

The Definitions of WYD and HYD

WYD (not be confused with World Youth Day, an annual event organized by the Catholic Church) stands for “what are you doing?”. HYD stands for “how are you doing?” They’re typically used as greetings or to start a conversation with someone. In some ways, the two initialisms are interchangeable, however, there are some essential differences.

You can use them in both lower- (wyd) and uppercase (WYD), but lowercase is more common among young people. You can use both of these acronyms (and phrases) the same as you would other idiomatic expressions, like “what’s up?” or “how’s it going?” HYD has a very similar meaning to the acronym HYF (“how are you feeling?”).

Among internet slang terms, these two function uniquely in that they’re complete sentences—they don’t need any additional context. Therefore, sending a message that simply reads “wyd” or “hyd” is a valid way to initiate a conversation.

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The Origins of WYD and HYD

Most internet acronyms found their way into the online vernacular during the early days of internet chat in the 1990s. However, the use of WYD and HYD seems to be much more recent. The earliest definition for WYD on Urban Dictionary is from 2006, while the first for HYD was created in 2010.

The entry for WYD lists it as a synonym for the rarely used WUBU2, or “what you been up to?”

Both terms likely became prominent in instant messaging and SMS, where randomly messaging friends you knew personally was more common. As both of these terms are frequently used to initiate conversations on personal topics, it’s unlikely you would use them when talking to strangers.

The Differences Between WYD and HYD

WYD is more widely used as a regular greeting. If you want to start a casual conversation with a friend or family member, this acronym can be your opener.

You can also use WYD to gauge someone’s availability. For example, if you want to have a serious discussion with someone or invite them to attend an event with you, you might start the conversation with “wyd?” to see if they’re busy at the moment. If they reply that they’re not doing anything, you could then extend your invitation.

HYD, on the other hand, can be used to gauge someone’s current state of well-being. It’s particularly useful if you’ve recently chatted with someone and are asking for an update.

For example, if a friend has been ill, you could text “hyd?” to check in and see how their recovery is going. You can also use HYD to check on someone who’s going through something tough emotionally, like a breakup.

Responding to WYD and HYD

A person smiling while looking at a smartphone.
GaudiLab/Shutterstock

WYD and HYD both initiate particular responses. If you’re on the receiving end, you would respond by giving the person a brief update, letting them know what you’re doing, or explaining your current state of mind. As both acronyms are used to start a conversation, your response doesn’t have to be long.

A common way to end your response is by using another acronym, like “WBU?” (“what about you?”) or “HBU?” (“how about you?”). The other person is then prompted to provide you with an update of their own and keeps the conversation going.

How to Use WYD and HYD

The actual phrases “what are you doing?” and “how are you doing?” are widely used all of the time. Online and in text messages, though, you can simply the abbreviated versions to start a conversation. Because both terms are quite casual, you should probably avoid using them in professional settings.

Below are a few examples of WYD and HYD in action:

  • “Hey, wyd?”
  • “HYD? Did you get that care package I sent?”
  • “WYD right now? Want to hang out?”

If you want to add more internet slang to your vocabulary, check out our pieces on NM and OP.

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