PDA – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Have you ever noticed a couple getting hot and heavy in the park? Maybe the couple in front of you can’t keep their hands off each other while waiting for their coffee? PDA is certainly here to stay. While some people might enjoy engaging in PDA, others may find it uncomfortable. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


PDA stands for “public display of affection.” It generally refers to physical or verbal displays of affection in public, such as hugging or holding hands. The term “PDA” is most often used to refer to physical displays of affection, such as hugging or kissing. However, it can also refer to verbal displays of affection, such as saying “I love you” in public.

Public displays of affection are generally considered to be appropriate in specific contexts, such as between romantic partners. What is considered appropriate or inappropriate may vary depending on the culture or situation. For example, in some cultures, it is perfectly acceptable to engage in PDA, while in others, it is considered inappropriate. cMany people feel that PDA is a way to express love and affection for another person. However, others may find it to be intrusive or uncomfortable.

Example Usage

  • “I was surprised to see them engaging in PDA at the office party.”
  • “I don’t think PDA is appropriate.”
  • “I don’t care if you’re married, get a room for that PDA!”
  • “Performing copious amounts of PDA in the hotel lobby is not a great way to start your vacation”.


Exactly where the term “PDA” came from is unclear. The late 1900s might be the period when it originated in the United States. Using the word for the first time was recorded in the 1960s. More widespread use of the term did occur in the 1980–90s. Later in the 2000s, it was more common in digital forms such as social media platforms and text messaging.

Phrases Similar to PDA

Similar phrases to PDA include:

  • “Making out,” means to kiss passionately.
  • “Hooking up,” is a term used to describe two people kissing.
  • “Fondling,” is another term for touching or caressing.
  • “Cuddling,” is when two people hug or sit close together.

Phrases opposite to PDA

Some phrases that negate PDA are:

  • “Keep your hands to yourself!”
  • “Get a room!” is meant to tell the couple to stop the public display of affection and find some privacy.
  • “That’s inappropriate!”
  • “That’s too much!”

What is The Correct Saying?

The correct saying is “PDA” or “Public Display of Affection.”

Ways People May Incorrectly Say PDA

Well, there are a few ways that people incorrectly say PDA. The first way is by saying “PD” or “Public Display.” This is incorrect because the “A” in PDA stands for affection. Other ways the phrase may be used incorrectly are:

  • I want to go see the PDA tour at least once in my lifetime.
  • Getting a little bit of PDA behind closed doors is the best part of being in a relationship.
  • Exploring PDA during in the middle of your bedroom is the best place IMO.
  • I don’t think I like couples who enjoy PDA, after all, it is best to show people that you care than to keep things hidden.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase PDA

PDA is most commonly used in casual conversation. It can also be used in other contexts, such as in newspapers, magazines, blogs, and books. Some examples are:

  • Caroline and her boyfriend are always performing extravagant acts of PDA when people are around.
  • My TED talk is not the right place for you to get hot and heavy with your PDA Susan.
  • Trying to force your partner into acts of PDA when they have expressed their discomfort is disrespectful.
  • A lot of people enjoy PDA, but there is an equal number who prefer to keep their relationship behaviors private.
  • Make sure that if you do engage in PDA, your audience is age appropriate at all times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *