WYD – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you bored and looking for a reason to hang out with your friends? Perhaps it’s the middle of the night and you are interested in companionship? If so, sending a quick “WYD” will let your recipient know that you are free for some fun. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The shorthand “WYD” is a quick way of saying, “what are you doing?” The abbreviation is most often used in text and online messaging. In some cases, it is used as a way of greeting meaning, “what’s up” or “what are you up to?”

WYD can also be used as a challenge when questioning a person’s choices or lifestyle. Instead of meaning what are you doing now, in this case, it would mean, “what are you even doing?”

WYD is most often used in a friendly way, but it also can be used sarcastically. If someone says or does something that is absurd, people may comment or text “wyd”. It can also be used as a way to coerce or challenge another person. For example, if someone shows you an image of superhot chicken wings, they may ask, “wyd if I made this for you?”

More information can be found in the video (here).

Example Usage

  • I just got my paycheck, and it’s spring break, WYD?
  • Are you busy? Wyd later?
  • Wyd tonight? Let’s hook up!
  • If you don’t support your friend like this, wyd even?
  • WYD if I brought over a whole cheesecake right now?
  • Hey! I just got out of class, wyd?
  • You look like you could use some company, wyd?


The phrase WYD started gaining traction in 2005 and was added to the Urban Dictionary in 2009. It was simply used as shorthand for what are you doing in text communications. It became popular mainly due to the cost of messaging being linked to message length.

Abbreviations became easier and quicker to use, and then they became the norm for most non-verbal communications.

WYD and HYD are commonly used interchangeably. It is worth noting that this form of converse is not appropriate for professional settings and is considered highly casual.

Internet slang really hit the scene in the late 90s and has evolved by leaps and bounds over the past several years. WYD may have started out as a shorthand form of communication between friends, but it also become one of the most commonly used phrases on dating sites.

Sending a text of WYD was code for wanting to link up for a romantic engagement. This use of the term gained traction in 2011 and later.

Phrases Similar to WYD

  • HYD which means “how are you doing”.
  • WYU2 which means “what are you up to”.
  • Let’s hook up.
  • Wagwan which means “what’s going on?”
  • Let’s hang out.
  • WBU which means “What About You?”
  • Are you busy?
  • WUBU2 which means “what have you been up to?”
  • What are you up to?

Phrases opposite to WYD

  • TTLY which is short for “I will talk to you later”.
  • BBL which means “I will be back later”
  • BIRL which means “I’m busy in real life”.

What is The Correct Saying?

  • Wyd? – What are you doing?

Ways People May Incorrectly Say WYD

The phrase WYD is easy to get right, and also easy to get wrong. Context is really important as is paying attention to the time of day you send the message. Many people with innocent intentions may text someone WYD simply asking if they want to talk. However, if you send it late at night, it often is mistaken for a flirty overture. It has also been used wrong by those who are not familiar with shorthand.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase WYD

When speaking to your friends over text or messenger, you can send a message asking “wyd” to see if they are available to chat.

If you are flirting with someone, you can send “wyd” with an emoji to get their attention.

When comparing life choices or looking for support, you can state “wyd” and then your desired stance.

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