HBU – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you short on time or just don’t feel like typing out a long message via text? Maybe you want to just post a quick comment without putting your feelings out in public?

If so, hbu is a great way to ask someone how they are doing in just a few letters. In this post, we will discuss what HBU means and how you can use it in conversation.

This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The phrase "HBU" is shorthand for "how about you?" or "how 'bout you?" It is a common response that is used when someone asks about your day, or about how you are feeling.  

This is a casual way of asking someone how they are doing and usually indicates that you are interested in their response. It can be used in one on one conversation, or it can be used in a group format depending on the contacts.

This expression is often used in text dialogue and online chat, as it is a quick and easy way to ask someone how they are doing. It is also commonly used in spoken conversation, as it can be a more casual way of asking someone about their day.

Hbu can also be used when asking someone their opinion on the next course of action. If one party gives their opinion or idea, they may then follow up with hbu as a way to learn the other party’s opinions. It is a very informal way of speaking but shows familiarity between the speakers which can increase overall camaraderie.

Example Usage

“I am feeling great after that spin class, hbu?”

“Thanks for calling, I’m doing ok, hbu?”

“I really don’t like sushi, hbu?”

“That course was really brutal, I don’t think I’ll pass, hbu?”

“Hbu, do you think you can make it to the next goal point in time?”

“This heat is really starting to get on my nerves, hbu?”


The phrase "how about you?" is ancient, dating back to the early 1800s. It was initially used as a polite way to inquire about someone's wellbeing after asking about their own. The shortened form "HBU" became popular in the mid-2000s due to its ease of use in text and online networking.

When chat rooms and message boards started growing in popularity online, so did the creation of shorthand terms and lingo. Hbu is just one of those terms that allowed you to save time and space while messaging. When text messages came out for mobile communications, the system was a pay per character format. This further encouraged the use of shorthand terms like hbu. Not only would the recipient know exactly what you are saying, you would also be able to fit more in a single line without an extra charge.

Phrases Similar to HBU

  • What's up?
  • What's going on?
  • Everything good?
  • How's it going?
  • How are you doing?
  • How are things?

Phrases opposite to HBU

  • I don't care how you are.
  • I couldn't care less about how you are.
  • Who cares
  • I don't give a damn about how you are.
  • IDK
  • Whatever
  • GTFO

What is The Correct Saying?

  • How About You

Ways People May Incorrectly Say HBU

HBU is a shorthand way of asking someone how they are doing in return. That being said, people still make the mistake of using it improperly on occasion. Some common mistakes are:

  • I am not trying to get in your way, but HBU!
  • Why don’t you HBU me later?
  • HBU you hand me that remote over there so I can change the channel.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase HBU

  • I am heading to the mall later, hbu?
  • I’m looking forward to the weekend, hbu?
  • I’m feeling amazing, hbu?
  • Thanks for asking, I am fine, hbu?
  • That burger was the best I had in a while, hbu, did you like it?

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