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

This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the acronym hby, including its definition, origination, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What is the definition of hby/what does hby stand for?

Hby is a common internet acronym; according to Cyber Definitions, hby is an abbreviation for the phrase “how about you?” In this phrase, the word “about” is shortened to “bout,” hence the acronym existing as hby and not hay. This abbreviation is also commonly seen spelled hbu, in which about is shortened to bout, and you is shortened to u.

It is pronounced as an initialism, in which the person will pronounce each letter of the acronym, rather than stringing them together to make one sound. It is brounoinced “aitch bee why,” not “hibby.” However, most people only use this abbreviation when texting, instant messaging, on other SMS text apps like WhatsApp, or social media applications like Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

According to The Free Dictionary and Abbreviations, hby also has a plethora of less common meanings, listed below:

·      How be you? – Internet slang term for “how are you?”

·      How bout yourself? – Another way of saying “how about you?”

·      Hot Bikram Yoga or Hot Body Yoga – These are two different types of heated yoga. Hot yoga, according to Very Well Fit, tends to be a flowing vinyasa style yoga with a series of poses to be performed. Bikram is a style of hot yoga, as are Moksha and CorePower.

·      Hanko Boat Yard – This is a boat yard based in Finland that offers indoor winter boat storage.

·      Hatem Ben Yacoub – HBY is a consultancy firm founded by Hatem Ben Yacoub.

·      Happy Birthday to You – This is a less common abbreviation of happy birthday to you, with the more common acronym being “hbd.”

·      Herne Bay Youth – This is a football, or soccer youth club based in the United Kingdom.

·      Hot Blood Youth – According to Fandom, this is a KPop boy group under OPUS Entertainment. The band debuted in 2017. Its members include Bin, Marco, Taro, Kyuhyuk, and Jisan.

Where is hby commonly used?

Hby is most commonly used in texting or via instant messenger. It is a casual expression and an example of textspeak or chat speak, which are shortened English words or phrases and abbreviations commonly used on the internet, social media, or texting.

Is hby casual or formal?

Hby is an exclusively casual phrase and is not appropriate to use in formal contexts. The acronym hby is considered textspeak or chat speak and is not intended for use in professional contexts, like a formal email, resume, letter, or other formal or professional scenarios. Slang words like hby is intended to be used as casual shorthand between friends, family, or even coworkers of the same level via a work instant messenger, for example.

For example, if someone was reaching out to a business acquaintance looking to catch up and potentially find a new job, the use of hby would be inappropriate in the following email. Below is a bad way to write the email, followed by a revised version.


Yo Mary,

Long time no see. I’m unemployed rn (right now) but looking for a new gig. Hbu? Wanna catch up soon? Know you started a bus, wanna hire me lol (laughing out loud)? Ttyl (Talk to you later)



Dear Mary,

Nice to speak to you! How have you been doing since we last worked together? If you’re not too busy, I would love to take you for a coffee soon. I saw that you started your own business and would love to hear more about it, and if you’re hiring, to potentially see if I could be a fit for a position. I look forward to hearing from you and wish you the best.



One circumstance in which it would be okay to use hby in a more professional setting would be between two coworkers who are familiar or friendly with each other, over instant messenger or text. Lena and Rodney are friends at work. On Monday morning, Lena sends Rodney an instant message over their chat.

Lena: Gm! (Good morning) How was ur weekend?

Rodney: P (pretty) good! Hby?

Lena: Exhausting. Rly (really) need this coffee lol (laughing out loud).

How can hby be used in a sentence?

Hby is commonly used casually between friends to start up a conversation. The following two examples are ways someone could use hby over text or other social media sites to start a conversation. Hby would not be used in actual speech, only text. If speaking it aloud, someone would simply say the phrase “how about you?” instead of saying the initialism “hby” as separate letters.

Sam and Matt are on winter break from school. Sam wants to see if Matt wants to go sledding. Sam texts Matt:

Sam: What’s up?

Matt: Nm (not much), just baked some cookies with my mom. Hby?

Sam: Yeah same but it just snowed a ton, wanna go sled later?

Matt: 4 (for) sure! Lmk (let me know) when to come by!

In this casual conversation, Matt uses “hby” to continue the conversation and get a further response from Sam. The two of them use other internet abbreviations in conversation as well.

Allie and Jo just went on their first date. The next day, Allie texts Jo.

Allie: I had a really good time last night, hby?

Jo: I did too 🙂 If ur (you’re) down, would love 2 (to) do that again sometime.

Allie: Absolutely!

Here, Allie and Jo are also using lots of textspeak in their conversation, and Allie uses hby to see if Jo had a good time on their date as well.

Overall, hby means how about you and is used as textspeak or chat speak to ask someone a questions about themselves. This is only appropriate in casual settings and should never be used in formal or professional contexts.