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

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

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What does WYS stand for?

The acronym WYS stands for “what you saying?” or “what you sayin’?” and is a slang term that is used to ask someone else “what’s up?” or “what are you up to?” Urban Dictionary states that this slang term can be potentially confusing, because the exact meaning is “what are you saying?” but the actual question being asked is “what are you doing?”

Interestingly, the acronym is often not used with a question mark, although the meaning implies a question. This slang term does not require use of a question mark, and if someone knows the meaning of the term, they also know that the question mark is implied. This is similar to other slang terms like WBY. According to Dictionary, this acronym stands for “what about you?” or “what ‘bout you?” but does not require a question mark after the acronym.

WYS also has a plethora of less common meanings, listed below from Acronym Finder and Abbreviations.

  • What You Said
  • Whatever You Say
  • What You Smoking
  • What’s Your Status
  • Wrap Yourself Slim
  • West Yellowstone Airport
  • Wyandotte Southern Railroad

Finally, wys is also a word in Afrikaans. According to Majstro, the word “wys” means “to demonstrate, to indicate, or to show.” 

Is WYS casual or formal?

WYS is a very casual piece of slang and should never be used in formal or professional circumstances. This term is perfectly acceptable when casually texting between friends, but should be reserved for informal communication. This phrase is not appropriate to use in business emails, letters, negotiations, or any other formal pr professional settings. Below is an example of a situation in which the acronym WYS would be inappropriate, followed by a revised version. In this example, Olivia is asking her former professor Dr. Carpenter for a letter of recommendation via email.

BAD:

Hey Dr. C, WYS? Hope ur good. I need a letter of rec 4 this internship im applying 4. Could u write me 1? LMK thx! -O

GOOD:

Dear Dr. Carpenter,

How have you been! I hope you are well and that you are enjoying your classes this semester. I am currently applying to internships, and a couple of them require letters of recommendation. I know you are very busy but if you have the time, would you be willing to write me one? If so, I can send you over all of the required information. Thank you!

Best,

Olivia

When asking a professional colleague for a favor, one should never use text speak or chat texting language. Olivia should write a professional email with proper grammar and formatting. It is still acceptable to ask her professor how she is doing, but she should maintain an air of professionalism while doing so. 

How can WYS be used in a sentence?

WYS can be used in a variety of circumstances to ask a casual acquaintance or friend what or how they are doing. In this first example, Janise is asking her friend Gregory about his after school plans.

Janise: Hey dude, WU (what’s up?)

Gregory: NM (Not much), WYS?

Janise: Just chilling at home. Finished all my hw (homework). Heard they r having 2 for 1 at the roller rink 2nite. Wanna go w me later?

Gregory: Totally! Lemme finish this hw and I’ll pick u up at 7.

Janise: Perf!

Here, Gregory used the acronym WYS to ask Janise what she is up to after a long day at school. Janise uses a similar acronym, WU (what’s up?) to ask Gregory a similar question. In this next example, Tom and Teresa have reconnected on Facebook, not having seen each other since elementary school. Tom sends Teresa a message.

Tom: Teresa! WYS!

Teresa: OMG (oh my God), I’m good! HBU (how about you?)

Tom: I’m doing great! I can’t believe it’s taken us this long to find each other.

Teresa: I know! You’re like a real human now, I remember playing dolls with you when we were little kids.

Tom: Good times.

Here, Tom uses the phrase WYS to ask Teresa how she is doing, since he has not seen or talked to her in a long time. In both of these circumstances, WYS is used slightly differently. In the first, it is used to ask someone what they are doing. In the second, it is used to ask someone how they are doing. This is very similar to the other slang term “what’s up,” which can be used for both of the same questions mentioned above.

What are synonyms for WYS?

There are many synonyms one can use in place of the phrase WYS – some of these are acronyms, but some of them are in their full form and could potentially be used in more professional settings than an acronym like WYS, according to Word Hippo and Power Thesaurus.

  • WU – What’s up?
  • What’s doing?
  • What’s going on?
  • What’s happening?
  • What’s the haps?
  • What’s new?
  • What else is new?
  • What’s been happening?
  • What’s popping?
  • What’s cracking?
  • How are you?
  • How’s it going?
  • Wassup?
  • Sup?
  • How goes it?
  • How’s it hanging?
  • How do you do?

Overall, WYS means “what you saying,” and is an internet slang term used to ask someone “what’s up?” or “what’s going on?” This is a casual phrase and should not be used in professional or formal settings. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Wys
  2. https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=what%20you%20sayin
  3. https://www.abbreviations.com/WYS
  4. https://www.acronymfinder.com/Slang/WYS.html
  5. https://www.majstro.com/dictionaries/Afrikaans-English/wys
  6. https://www.wordhippo.com/what-is/another-word-for/what_s_up.html
  7. https://www.powerthesaurus.org/what%27s_up/synonyms
  8. https://www.dictionary.com/e/acronyms/wby/#:~:text=WBY%20is%20a%20text%20and,what%20’bout%20you%3F).