What does UwU mean? What is the definition of this internet acronym? Learn how and when to use this internet slang term with ESL infographic and useful conversation examples in English.
Normally, when you see a string of letters in a text message or online, it’s an acronym for a long-phrase, shortened by taking the first letter of each word and combining them together. Such as “IDK” is short for “I don’t know”, or “wyd” meaning “what are you doing?” Some of these could be easy to decipher without help, while others have us scratching our heads in confusion.
When a string of letters and characters get strung together, this confusion can magnify tenfold. This is usually because these acronyms aren’t shorthand words. Instead, they’re called emojis. Some of you have already seen the Emoji movie if you have kids, or you might use emojis yourself. But for those of you who don’t, emojis are little images that have facial expressions, used as a substitute for words, or to express an emotion.
Sometimes, these emojis will turn into a cute little yellow circle with a face. Other times, if the user is just using characters, you might end up with something like: “:) or ;)”. This is old school, and was being done before the new format of emojis came out. In some places, you’ll see this type of emoji used more often than the new-gen.
What Does UwU Mean?
UwU is used as an emoji to signify a reaction to something cute.
If someone texts you “UwU”, don’t bother racking your brain trying to figure out what it stands for. It doesn’t spell anything. Instead, it’s used as an emoji to signify a reaction to something cute or that makes you happy. Think of seeing a picture of a tiny puppy falling into a big bowl while trying to drink. It’s so cute it’s almost disgusting and your first reaction is most likely “Aww! How adorable.” Or “UwU”, which is pronounced ooh woo.
Origin of UwU
There’s no exact record of when “UwU” was coined, but most say that it occurred in 2005, when someone included it in their fanfiction work titled “Genie of the Puzzle”. This piece of fiction is based on the well-known anime series “Yu-Gi-Oh”. You most often see it being used by furries, littles (which are submissive sexual partners who like to display childish behavior), and in Japanese and Korean cybercultures, in which it reverts back to the original meaning of cute, or “kawaii”, but not generally sexual.
Similar Internet Slang Words
“UwU” is similar to “OwO” which is a surprised emoji; “^w^”, which is a way to type extremely happy or absolute cutest thing you’ve ever seen; “XD”, which is a smile if you look at it sideways; “Twt or twt”, meaning a crying emoji; “:3” for a smile; “ùwú, an angry emoji”; and “;3” as a wink and smile.
“UwU” can also be used to signify relaxation; as a way to flirt; “same”; “cool”; to be condescending; smug, or when you can’t think of a response but don’t want to be rude and not say anything. In the furry community, it can also be considered foreplay. A “furry” is someone who likes anthropomorphic animals, which basically means they like to make animals seem like humans, whether it’s by talking or giving them human physical features in art, film, or costume.
Furries often enjoy wearing animal accessories, such as cat ears, foxtails, or masks. Some furries go as far as to wear full head to toe costumes and might engage in sexual behavior while wearing them. Some people believe to be a true furry, you can’t just look like it but must sound like one as well, meaning using languages like “UwU” or “TwT”. “UwU” also became a popular song.
Example 1 using the slang term as meaning cute:
- Speaker 1: Did you see the video of the momma panda sneezing and scaring the baby panda?
- Speaker 2: omg yes uwu!!
- Speaker 3: Ikr!
*”OMG”= Oh my God or gosh
*”Ikr”= I know, right
Example 2 using uwu as a smiley face:
- Bf: I love you bae
- Gf: Aww Ily UwU
*”Ily”= I love you
Example 3 using the internet word as smug:
- Speaker 1: Yo, how’d you do on the test?
- Speaker 2: Idk man mighta passed. You?
- Speaker 1: piece of cake. I finished in 10 minutes UwU.