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These three simple letters can have a profound impact.
What does HMU mean? If you spend any time on Twitter, you probably already know the answer. Social media has its own sub-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.
We’re taking a closer look at certain acronyms from the lingo of internet culture so that you can, you know, look all knowledgeable and stuff.
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.
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. Of course, most often it’s for money. Merriam-Webster uses this example with its definition of “hit up”:
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. … By the end of summer, HMU reached 80,000 mentions per day.”
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.
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.
2) Supply me with…
As the tweet above demonstrates, “HMU” can be used as a way of soliciting suggestions, recommendations, or other crowd-sourced information. That, or food…
3) Contact me
Here’s one famous example from Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, who used hmu after the 2018 Super Bowl to suggest that quarterback Tom Brady hit him up to learn how to catch a pass. That’s some serious trolling.
4) Hit on me
Often used in online dating profiles, “HMU” 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.
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?
Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.
Amy-Mae Turner is a tech reporter who focuses on gadgets, streaming entertainment, social media, and internet lingo. She previously served as a senior features writer for Mashable.