what's up

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Alternative forms[edit]


Made popular by the cartoon character Bugs Bunny as part of his catch phraseWhat’s up Doc?”, as early as 1940. Originally a common greeting from Bugs Bunny creator Tex Avery's neighborhood in Taylor, Texas. [1]


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what's up?

  1. (idiomatic, colloquial, with up in the sense of "of concern") What’s the matter? What is the problem? What is wrong?
    You're looking a bit miserable. What's up?
    I got a call saying to come straight away. What's up?
  2. (idiomatic, colloquial, chiefly US, with up in the sense of "happening") What's happening? What are you doing?
    Synonyms: what's happening, what's new, what's the haps
    Hey, what's up? – Not much, just working.
  3. (rhetorical question, colloquial) A casual greeting with a meaning similar to hi or nice to meet you.
    Hey, what's up? – Hey! Good to see you.

Usage notes[edit]

Sometimes, people give sarcastic responses to this question, such as "the sky" or "the ceiling" (or anything that is above the speaker).


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gary Martin (1997–), “What's up”, in The Phrase Finder.