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

This guide will give you all of the knowledge you need on the acronym WYM, including its meaning, usage, sentence examples, and more!

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What does the abbreviation WYM stand for?

According to Dictionary and Urban Dictionary, the definition of WYM is most commonly “what you mean,” a slang term for “what do you mean?” This phrase can also be represented by the text abbreviation WDYM. Note that these acronyms do not require a question mark, as it is implied. Both WYM and WDYM are often used in text messaging and on social media.

These phrases can be used in two different ways. The first is to ask for further clarification on something, and the second is to ask someone to tell you more, according to 7 E S L. WYM can also be used to tell someone that you do not know what they are talking about.

WYM also has a few other less common definitions. The below definitions, from The Free Dictionary, are still valid definitions for WYM, but one should be careful when using these definitions, because it is likely that the reader will take the abbreviation WYM to mean “what you mean?”

  • Watch Your Mouth
  • Wilmington Yearly Meeting (Wilmington, OH)
  • Western Yearly Meeting of Friends Church (Plainfield, IN)
  • Would You Mind?
  • Waymar Resources, Ltd.
  • Wake Your Mind
  • Was You and Me
  • Website for Young Marines

Is WYM casual or formal?

WYM is a very casual figure of speech and should be reserved for use only in casual text messaging or on social media. WYM should never be used in professional circumstances like on a resume, in a business email, in a letter, or in any other formal setting.

Below is an example of a situation in which it would be inappropriate to use the abbreviation WYM, followed by a revised version.

Mark just started a new job and his boss sent him a list of tasks to complete. However, the list contains a lot of jargon that Mark is unfamiliar with. He emails his boss Jen to ask for clarification.

BAD:

Hey Jen,

Rly sry but IDK WYM by any of this… we didn’t use these words @ my last job n I’m super confused. Could u tell me what this huge list of terms means? TYSM.

-Mark

GOOD:

Hi Jen,

Thank you for sending over the assignment sheet! I am excited to get started. I did have a couple of clarifying questions before I begin; I’m a bit unfamiliar with some of the abbreviations and terms that are used in this document. Could we set aside a few minutes to go over them so I can make sure I execute these tasks correctly? Thank you!

Best,

Mark

Mark should not be using slang words in a professional email. Especially at a new job when he is asking for things to be explained to him, the amount of text speak and abbreviations he uses is a red flag. Instead, he should write a concise, professional email to his boss.

What are synonyms for WYM?

7 E S L and Power Thesaurus list numerous synonyms for the acronym WYM. Many of these are considered more formal or polite than the slang term WYM, and can therefore be used in more professional settings.

  • What do you mean?
  • What are you implying?
  • What does that mean?
  • What are you saying?
  • Please explain.
  • What do you intend?
  • What do you mean?
  • What are you trying to say?
  • Can you elaborate?
  • What are you talking about?

How can WYM be used in a sentence?

WYM is appropriate to make use of in many useful text conversations. Below are a few examples of circumstances in which using the term WYM is acceptable. In the first example, Shannon texts Mia about their weekend plans.

Shannon: Hey dude, WYD? R U ready yet?

Mia: WYM?

Shannon: …I’m OMW to pick u up @ 3 like we talked about???

Mia: WYO, dude? What’s happening at 3?

Shannon: We’re going to meet up @ Leah’s to study for the chem exam tomorrow.

Mia: The chem exam is on Monday.

Shannon: Yeah… it’s Sunday.

Mia: OMG IT’S SUNDAY?!

Here, Mia uses WYM to ask Shannon to clarify what she means by asking her if she is ready. The phrase is used to express confusion. In the next example, Wendy found a piece of women’s clothing in her boyfriend Greg’s car and confronts him about it via text.

Wendy: Would you like to explain to me how a lace tank top from a brand I don’t wear, in a size I don’t wear, ended up in the backseat of your car?

Greg: … I S2G IDK WYM by that. Honest.

Wendy: Oh really? So it just appeared out of thin air? Do you think I’m stupid?

Greg: R U sure it isn’t yours?

Wendy: I am positive.

Greg: I let Tom borrow my car last weekend. It could be from him.

Wendy: U know, ur being really nonchalant about this. It’s like you don’t even care.

Greg: I do care, I just don’t know what it is and I don’t appreciate the insinuations you’re making.

Here, Greg uses the acronym WYM to tell Wendy that he wants her to explain what she is implying by bringing up the piece of clothing she found in his car.

Overall, the acronym WYM stands for “what you mean?” This internet slang term and its variant WDYM are used to ask someone for clarification, to explain themselves further, or to tell someone you do or do not understand them. This is a very casual phrase that should never be used in professional or formal settings.

Sources:

  1. https://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/WYM
  2. https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=wym
  3. https://www.dictionary.com/e/acronyms/wym/#:~:text=WYM%20is%20an%20acronym%20for,to%20mean%20watch%20your%20mouth.
  4. https://7esl.com/wym/
  5. https://www.powerthesaurus.org/what_do_you_mean/synonyms