Have you seen the internet abbreviation ‘yt’ anywhere on the internet or social media and want to know what it means? The term is used often, although it is not internet shorthand for YouTube anymore as some users still think. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this term.
The term ‘yt’ is a text-based abbreviation that means “white” or “whitey” as the letters are individually pronounced.
The most common meaning of the term is used jokingly to refer to cultures, or as a form of joking self-identification. The term ‘yt’ might also have negative connotations and the term can just as easily be used as a direct racial insult.
The term ‘yt’ carries a similar meaning to other common racial terms that are used to describe white people, including ones like “white bread”, though the term is mostly used in a humorous way.
The term can appear in many ways, including as a tag or hashtag, as a username or as part of a sentence.
“Did you see that the new neighbor moved in yesterday? I had a quick look at him before they put up their curtains, and I think he’s the first yt around here.”
“I always thought that their music was great, but I probably only think that because I’m really, really yt.”
“When my grandfather checked into his heritage, he found out that his second cousin was a yt dude from Chicago.”
“The first question that the cops could come up with after I was mugged was to ask me whether the perpetration might have been yt.”
The term ‘yt’ is used as a common text-based abbreviation for the social media website YouTube, and entries on Urban Dictionary list the term from at least 2003.
Urban Dictionary only lists the term ‘yt’ as meaning “whitey” or “white” from the year 2019. Entries on Urban Dictionary before this date still all list the acronym ‘yt’ as a possible text-based abbreviation for YouTube.
While the origin of the use of ‘yt’ for “whitey” is disputed, it came into popular use through social media websites like Twitter and TikTok from 2019.
The term “whitey” as a pejorative term for whites or white people has been in use since at least the 1920s to 1930s, but would come into the public view after it was featured in the SNL skit “Racist Word Association” with Chevy Chase and Richard Pryor.
It is only more recently that the word ‘yt’ has come to mean “white” instead of “YouTube”, though context in conversation should make it clear.
The term ‘yt’ is not as racially loaded as the term “whitey” might have been decades ago, but is often used in a humorous instead of a pejorative way.
Phrases Similar to YT
- Uncle John
Phrases Opposite to YT
What is the Correct Way to Say YT?
Ways People May Say YT Incorrectly
There are several incorrect ways to use the term ‘yt’ in conversation or social media.
The term means either ‘YouTube’ or a common though less offensive racial term that means ‘whitey’, depending on the context.
If you see the term on social media, then it is more likely to mean the two most common meanings given above, and not refer to the acronym of “Yukon Territory”.
Acceptable Ways to Phrase YT
The term ‘yt’ can be used as a text-based acronym that means YouTube, although it is mostly used to mean ‘white’ or ‘whitey’ in comments, statuses, tags and conversations.
The term is used as a joking cultural reference or as a tag, but the same term can also be used as an insult depending on the surrounding context of what is being said.
The term ‘yts’ can be considered acceptable as a plural form of the word.