HBU is an abbreviation of the question How About You? or How Bout You? It is typically used in situations where an individual wants to reciprocate a question asked to them by another person.
There is an increase in the growth and popularity of the term HBU while texting or messaging. Social Media websites or Mobile Messaging Apps such as WhatsApp or Snapchat have seen multiple users adding this phrase to their vocabulary due to the convenience of asking the question in just three letters.
In this article, I will briefly explain the usage, alternate meanings, and terms to help you understand these terms better on the internet.
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HBU is frequently in social online forums and on text chats to ask questions and opinions about a certain topic to another individual in a very quick manner.
It is generally neutral in tone and is mostly used to create small talk in a conversation. People prefer the convenience of using HBU instead of using the entire phrase to create a better conversation.
Similar to other abbreviations and acronyms, it is strongly advised not to use this term in a formal setting due to its unprofessionalism. HBU is better off used in personal text chats even for people who might not know each other that well.
Something as simple as asking someone how their day went can be answered with HBU, this easiness of the expression How Bout You is what makes it very tempting to use. The neutral nature of the idiom also makes it very fitting as it’s very difficult to take this in the wrong sense where it may be misinterpreted.
Person 1: Hey, How are you? It’s been a while and I heard that your exams ended a few days ago, how did it go?
Person 2: I’m doing good, HBU? My exams went fine, hoping to get a good mark in Math.
In this scenario, Person 1 asks Person 2 how have they been doing and in an easy manner. Person 2 chooses to respond with HBU which asks the same question back to Person 1. The term is seen being used very casually in order to go with the flow of the conversation.
Person 1: Hey, did you get the vaccine dose yet?
Person 2: Yea, I got vaccinated two days ago, HBU? I’ve heard the news that travel restrictions might be lifted soon and I thought it would be a good idea to head to XXX the next weekend.
In this example, Person 1 is curious about whether Person 2 has been vaccinated or not. Person 2 carries the conversation very swiftly but answering the question and then asking them the same by using HBU.
Thus, the term is mostly used in an informal manner on text or on online forums.
Here are some additional words that can be used instead of HBU:
WYD – What You Doing?
HYD – How You Doing?
WBU – What About You?
HAY – How Are You?