The Meaning of HBU: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of HBU? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the acronym HBU, including its definition, usage, other potential means, and more!

Your writing, at its best

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free, writing with Grammarly's AI-powered writing assistant

What does the word HBU mean?

According to How to Geek, the acronym HBU means “how bout you” or “how bout u.” This is the slang version of asking someone “how about you” and is often used when someone has just asked you a question. You will answer the question, and then ask them the same question in return. You will frequently see this abbreviation on the internet and in texting on sites like Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and more. The abbreviation HBU falls under the categories of acronyms and slang, so make sure that you do not use this text message phrase in formal settings. Save it for IM like AOL instant messenger, for forums, or for SMS texting on mobile phones or another device. When in doubt, use the full meaning of HBU, not the short form or abbreviation word. HBU can be used in the following ways. Imagine these as text messages or social media DMs.

Person 1: Suh bro, WYD?

Person 2: Just working on my topics for the paper and the bibliography, HBU? 

According to The Free Dictionary, HBU has numerous other potential meanings than how about you. While these alternate definitions are still valid, they are used less frequently. If you do decide to use one of these other definitions of HBU, make sure that you provide the reader or listener with the proper context so that they are able to infer the correct meaning. When in doubt, use the full form of HBU rather than the shorthand.

  •  Highest and Best Use (property valuation)
  •  Heat Build Up (tires or rubber products)
  •  Hollandsche Bank-Unie (Dutch bank; now Deutsche Bank)
  •  Homebrew Bittering Units (beer bitterness measure)
  •  Historically Black University
  •  Hellweg Berufskolleg Unna (German: Hellweg Vocational College Unna; Unna, Germany)
  •  Houston Baptist University (Houston, Texas)
  •  Hilfsbetriebeumrichter (German)

What are other frequently used slang terms you might see on social media or in texting?

There are a plethora of different acronyms and abbreviations that you might see when you are texting someone or communicating via social media. There are a ton of abbreviations out there! While these may seem confusing at first because there are so many of them, don’t worry. This list of the most frequently used texting abbreviations and acronyms from Zip Whip will help to get you started. Be careful  – do not use these in formal or professional situations. These should be reserved for use in casual, informal company. When you are concerned about the formality of the situation, opt to use the full form of whichever acronym you are thinking of using.

  •  CYT: See you tomorrow
  •  TL;DR: Too long, don’t/didn’t read
  •  Bae: Before anyone else
  •  OML: Oh my lord
  •  EOD: End of day
  •  HBY/HAY: How bout you?
  •  NBD: No big deal
  •  IIRC: If I recall correctly
  •  TTP: To the point
  •  TIA: Thanks in advance
  •  NM: Not much
  •  AMAA: Ask me almost anything
  •  TY: Thank you
  •  OMW: On my way
  •  HIFW: How I feel when
  •  WDYM: What do you mean?
  •  G2G: Got to go
  •  IDC: I don’t care
  •  YGTI: You get the idea
  •  Tea: Gossip, drama
  •  NGL: Not gonna lie
  •  PPL: People
  •  FWIW: For what it’s worth
  •  MRW: My reaction when
  •  IG: Instagram
  •  OOO: Out of office
  •  ROFL: Rolling on floor laughing
  •  SNMP: So not my problem
  •  IYKYK: If you know you know
  •  W/O: Without
  •  Bestie: a best friend or term of endearment
  •  JK: Just kidding
  •  IKR: I know, right
  •  TTYL: Talk to you later
  •  NP: No problem
  •  THX: Thanks
  •  PNL: Peace & love
  •  IMO: In my opinion
  •  BTW: By the way
  •  V: Very
  •  JIC: Just in case
  •  ICYMI: In case you missed it
  •  F2F: Face to face
  •  NVM: Never mind
  •  TYT: Take your time
  •  TBH: To be honest
  •  AKA: Also known as
  •  DM: Direct message
  •  FOMO: Fear of missing out
  •  DIKY: Do I know you?
  •  BDAY: Birthday
  •  SO: Significant other
  •  ASAP: As soon as possible
  •  LOL: Laughing out loud
  •  COB: Close of business
  •  MFW: My face when
  •  IDK: I don’t know
  •  ISTG: I swear to god
  •  MSG: Message
  •  GR8: Great
  •  RN: Right now
  •  ATM: At the moment
  •  ILY: I love you
  •  Finna: going to, intending to
  •  HTH: Hope this helps
  •  BC or B/C: Because
  •  HMU: Hit me up
  •  TBA: To be announced
  •  WYWH: Wish you were here
  •  YW: You’re welcome
  •  SMH: Shaking my head
  •  FYI: For your information
  •  TFW: That feeling when
  •  OFC: Of course
  •  TMI: Too much information
  •  TBF: To be frank
  •  KMN: Kill me know
  •  BBL: Be back later
  •  TIL: Today I learned
  •  BRB: Be right back
  •  WFH: Work from home
  •  FTFY: Fixed that for you
  •  DIY: Do it yourself
  •  Sus: Suspicious
  •  YP: Yes please
  •  BFF: Best friends forever
  •  TGIF: Thank goodness/god it’s Friday
  •  SFLR: Sorry for late reply
  •  AMA: Ask me anything
  •  TBD: To be determined or to be decided
  •  YMMV: Your mileage may vary
  •  YOLO: You only live once
  •  Yeet: To throw something or used as an exclamation
  •  AFAIK: As far as I know
  •  OMG: Oh my god/gosh
  •  POV: Point of view
  •  LMK: Let me know
  •  DAE: Does any else
  •  SRSLY: Seriously
  •  QAP: Quick as possible
  •  QOTD: Quote of the day
  •  IMHO: In my humble/honest opinion
  •  FTW: For the win
  •  JSYK: Just so you know
  •  NTH: Nice to have
  •  IFYP: I feel your pain
  •  IRL: In real life
  •  B4N: Bye for now
  •  TBC: To be continued
  •  OTOH: On the other hand
  •  OOTD: Outfit of the day
  •  CYA: See ya

Overall, the term HBU is an acronym meaning how bout you? This is very casual and used frequently in texting.


  1. 110 Texting Acronyms, Abbreviations and Slang to Know | ZipWhip 
  2. HBU – What does HBU stand for? | The Free Dictionary 
  3. What Does “HBU” Mean, and How Do You Use It? | How to Geek