person texting wyd

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Here’s what WYD really means

Hey...WYD ;)


Amy-Mae Turner

Internet Culture

Posted on Jun 12, 2018   Updated on Feb 10, 2021, 9:56 am CST

Social media has its own sub-language of abbreviations and acronyms that, for digital natives, are easy AF to interpret and use correctly. But it can be a struggle to stay up-to-date with the ever-evolving parlance. The popular texting acronym WYD proves that some acronyms are trickier than others to grasp. Even if you know what the letters stand for, it’s all about understanding the context. So, what does WYD mean? 

We’re taking a closer look at certain acronyms from the lingo of online culture so that you can, you know, look all knowledgeable and stuff. Here’s what you need to know. 

What does WYD mean?

The basic meaning of WYD is simply “What [are] you doing?” If used in the absolute most straightforward sense, it’s an acronym for just that. Alternate phrases that mean the same thing include “What are you up to,” “What’s up,” and “What’s going on.” A text containing “WYD” can be a catch-all phrase—but it can also have a hidden agenda (see below).

A cartoon gif showing a girl asking a boy what you doin'

WYD = What kind of activities are you currently engaged in?

Most often used in this context in personal messages, it’s a simple shorthand way of checking in with someone and seeing what they are up to either then, or at a later date.

what does wyd mean

WYD = What on Earth were you thinking?

On social platforms it can also be used as a hypothetical question, as in, what do you think you are/were doing? It’s a contemporary method of calling someone out, or a way of showing horror, disbelief or incredulity at someone’s actions. 


WYD = What would be your response when faced with this absolute dilemma?

The other way it’s used on social media is as a “What would you do” question, presenting the audience with a theoretical dilemma. If [blank] happened to you, how would you react?

In Body Image

WYD = Is there any chance you might wish to meet and fornicate?

Finally, WYD can also be used as a slightly shabby and rather lazy mating call.

With all the subtlety of Joey’s “how yooou doin’?” cheesy pick-up line, the classic use would be as a late-night “booty call” via text or another kind of DM. So, be careful if you get “wyd” in a text message from a romantic interest.

what does wyd

Alternative meanings: Who’s your daddy?

Jimmy Fallon Snl GIF by Saturday Night Live - Find & Share on GIPHY

Technically WYD can also be used as an abbreviation for “Who’s your daddy?” As always, the context in which it’s used should give you a clue as to which is meant. If it’s used in a particularly celebratory fashion, consider this nuclear option.   

what does wyd mean


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

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*First Published: Jun 12, 2018, 6:00 am CDT