"HMU" written in green graffiti type on a brick wall

Luis Colindres/The Daily Dot

What does HMU really mean?

These three simple letters can have a profound impact.

Apr 8, 2021, 3:13 pm*

Internet Culture

 

Amy-Mae Turner

What does HMU mean? If you spend any time on Twitter, you probably already know the answer. Social media has its own language of abbreviations and acronyms that, for digital natives, are easy to interpret and use correctly. But it can be a struggle to stay up-to-date with the ever-evolving parlance.

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HMU made our list of acronyms from internet culture that needed a closer look.

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What does HMU mean?

HMU is a quick way of saying “hit me up.” It’s internet shorthand for telling someone to call you later or to check-in at a later date. “Hit me up” is, quite simply, a way of asking for something, or a way of requesting someone or several people to get in touch.

what does hmu stand for
@AmazingPhil/Twitter

The history of HMU

“Hit me up” is an evolution of the phrase “hit up,” slang for a way to describe someone asking for something. Most often, if involved money

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It’s thought the “HMU,” or if you’re super informal, “hmu,” abbreviation first came into play in 2009.  

In 2010, Facebook revealed that “HMU” topped the trend in status updates as the term that grew most in usage during that year.

“In early 2009, the acronym HMU was virtually unheard of,” Facebook reported when sharing the results of its “Memology” study.

“Only a few posts a day contained HMU, and half of them were probably typos. By May, however, it started to grow slowly and was averaging about 20 posts a day,” the report said. “By the end of summer, HMU reached 80,000 mentions per day.”

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what does hmu stand for - a graph of the history of hmu
Facebook

What HMU doesn’t mean

“Hold my unicorn.”

KnowYourMeme reports that back in 2010 Urban Dictionary user “UnicornLover238” responded to a forum question asking what “HMU” meant with the rather random explanation of “hold my unicorn.”

People loved it, and the alternative definition became popular in its own right. Over a five-year period, over 13,500 cheeky scamps upvoted the unicorn-themed option, making it the top-voted definition.

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hold my unicorn mug
TeaRepublic

But no one actually uses HMU that way, though admittedly it would be a lot cooler if people did.

How to use HMU

There are a few different ways you’ll see HMU used.

1) Here are my deets

“HMU” can be used as shorthand to highlight your contact details, providing your audience with a preferred method of getting in touch.

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what does hmu mean - contact information
@AGlasgowGirl/Twitter

   

2) Supply me with…

Tweet: i need new music to listen to. hmu with suggestions
@AGlasgowGirl/Twitter
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As the tweet above demonstrates, “HMU” can be used as a way of soliciting suggestions, recommendations, or other crowd-sourced information. That, or food…

tweet" hmu with some waffle fries if you really love me
@nuggstruggs/Twitter

3) Contact me

One famous now-deleted example came from NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown in 2018, who used hmu after that February’s Super Bowl to suggest that quarterback Tom Brady hit him up to learn how to catch a pass. That’s some serious trolling.

(Though Brady did bring Brown back into the NFL to join his Super Bowl-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 2020 season, and even threw him a touchdown pass in the 2021 edition of the Super Bowl.)

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4) Hit on me

lili reinhart using hit me up
@lilireinhart/Instagram

Often used in online dating profiles, the acronym can sometimes have a suggestive meaning, as in get in touch for a potential hookup.

In fact, one Twitter user met her husband as a result of an “HMU” tweet thrown out in the ether. The story goes that after a break-up, Madison O’Neill needed a “plus one” for a wedding.

hmu
@lilireinhart/Instagram
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Her future husband responded and after two-and-a-half years together, they got engaged—much to the Twitter’s absolute delight. 

Who knew three simple letters could make such a difference?

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Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance. 

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*First Published: Jun 1, 2018, 6:45 am