What Does “HMU” Mean, and How Do You Use It?


An illustration of the abbreviation "HMU" with a yellow and green starburst behind it.
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HMU is a popular internet abbreviation. You’ll see it used in many online situations. Here’s what it means, and how you use it.

What It Means

HMU is the abbreviation for “hit me up.” It’s a quick way to tell someone to contact you or make plans in the future. For example, you might say to a friend, “HMU when you want to play Mario Kart,” or, “HMU when you get back in town.” In most cases, HMU is used in social or informal business circles.

Some people also use HMU to convey that someone asked them for something, such as, “He HMU asking for money,” or, “She HMU for a date.” This usage aligns with the definition of “hit up,” which is common real-world slang for someone asking you for something.

It’s worth mentioning that “hit up” can also mean you want to go to a certain place. For example, you and your friends could “hit up” the Trader Joe’s. Of course, this usage doesn’t have an abbreviation, so back to the topic at hand.

The History of HMU

A hand holding a pager.
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The phrase “hit me up” is inseparable from ‘90s hip-hop culture. During that decade, many people (not just drug dealers) used one-way pagers to communicate with one another. “Communicate” probably isn’t the right word, though, as these devices couldn’t receive text-based messages. Instead, they received phone numbers. Someone would call (“beep”) your pager from his phone. Your pager would light up, make an audible “beep,” and the phone number that paged you would appear on the screen so you could call the person back.

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“Hit up” grew out of the very specific rules of paging. Rappers used the phrase in hundreds of popular songs, and it started to have a variety of meanings. Now, the phrase is closely associated with cellphones, which are, arguably, the modern version of pagers.

The history of our little abbreviation, HMU, isn’t nearly as interesting as all that. See, it kind of came out of nowhere. HMU first appeared on Urban Dictionary in 2009 and totally exploded into popularity by the end of 2010.

According to Facebook’s 2010 Memology report, HMU went from being a rarity to the biggest trend of the year. For reference, the abbreviation wasn’t even mentioned in the 2009 Memology report.

According to Google Trends, searches for HMU peaked in 2010 and leveled out after about a year. This doesn’t necessarily mean the phrase is less popular than it used to be, though. If anything, HMU’s definition is probably being looked up less because it’s now so commonly used, most people know what it means.

How Do I Use HMU?

A man resting his hand against his mouth as he stares intently at a laptop screen.
fizkes/Shutterstock

Again, HMU is the abbreviation for “hit me up.” It’s easy to use and will be understood by most people. So, simply use HMU whenever you mean to say “hit me up.”

You could say, “HMU when you get home,” or, “HMU when you want to hang out.” Again, it’s a straightforward abbreviation, so you don’t have to worry about any weird grammar or anything.

If you want to describe a situation in which a friend or acquaintance messaged you out of the blue, you could say, “He HMU just last week,” or, “They HMU asking for a ride.”

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As with other informal internet abbreviations, people don’t always capitalize HMU. You might see it in lowercase (hmu), as well.





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