what's up

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Made popular by the cartoon character Bugs Bunny as part of his catch phraseWhat’s up Doc?”, as early as 1940.[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Phrase[edit]

what's up?

  1. (idiomatic, colloquial) What are you doing?; what is happening?
    Synonyms: what's happening, what's new, what's the haps
    Hey, what's up? – Not much, just working.
  2. (rhetorical question, colloquial) A casual greeting with a meaning similar to how are you? or nice to meet you.
    Synonym: what's up Doc
    Hey, what's up? – Hey! Good to see you.
  3. (idiomatic, colloquial) What do you need?; How can I help you?
    Can I ask you something? – Sure, what's up?
  4. (idiomatic, colloquial) What’s the matter?
    • 1884, Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn:
      Hello, what's up? Don't cry bub. What's the trouble?
    • 1912, W. Somerset Maugham, Lady Frederick: A Comedy in Three Acts, Act 1:
      Lady Frederick: Oh lord, I wish I were eighteen. [She sinks into a chair, and an expression of utter weariness comes over her face.]
      Gerald: I say, what's up?
      Lady Frederick: [Starting.] I thought you'd gone. Nothing.

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).

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ What's up Doc by Gary Martin, phrases.org.uk.