Cyber-slang is flooding social media, especially Instagram. With an assortment of acronyms and abbreviations, the Insta-dictionary is expanding. Consisting of shorthand, acronyms, and coded messages, online language has virtually been re-shaped. And this has percolated into everyday conversations, apart from the obvious cross-platform pollination.
Net Influencer follows this trend and unpacks a popular Instagram acronym commonly used on the app. We look at its meaning, usage, and origins and even give a few examples from the gram.
The meaning and usage of ‘Wtw’
‘Wtw’ is used on many social media platforms. On Instagram, the most popular meaning of ‘Wtw’ is “What the word”. This is equivalent to “What’s up”, “What’s going on” or “What are you doing”. Sometimes, the word ‘word’ is replaced by ‘wave’. This reads as “What the Wave” – which means the same thing but appeals to a younger audience, due to ‘wave’ being a surfing reference. These versions of ‘Wtw’ are used in daily and casual conversations to enquire about what the other person is doing. Usually, it is used when wanting to spend time with someone.
“Wtw, Wanna chat?”
“I just got home from work. Wtw?”
“Wtw? I haven’t heard from you in a while.”
“Wtw” can also mean ‘What the What’. This expresses disbelief, surprise, alarm, or astonishment. It is used when referring to an unexpected or silly situation or act. The sentiment expressed, with this meaning, is similar to “What the heck” or “What the Fu&k”. Users also use ‘Wtw’ to add flavor and spice to their comments and conversations. This can be used in sarcastic, funny, or even exaggerated reactions.
“You quit?!!! WTW”
“Wtw, you won $100,000?!”
“How’d you do that? Wtw”
Other less popular meanings
Worth the Wait
This is straightforward to understand. It is used to express the value of something that might have taken some time to transpire or arrive.
“My order arrived. It was so Wtw!”
“Kevin was late but he made it Wtw!!!”
“I just got the job, totally Wtw!”
Woman to Woman
This is used when giving advice, guidance, and support amongst women. It is indicative of a virtual sisterhood.
“Don’t date him! Take my advice, Wtw”
“Wtw, always trust your gut!”
“Wtw, this foundation is fabulous!”
Walk through Walls
This is a niche version of ‘Wtw”, used in a gaming context.
“What me Wtw!”
The Origin of ‘WTW’
This cyber-slang originated in 2016 “What’s The Word?” is the most popular definition for “Wtw’. However, variations of this acronym do exist. Drawing inspiration from the American Rap Culture, the use of the ‘word’ in this acronym appeals to a more mature, yet trendy, audience. When ‘Word’ is replaced by ‘Wave’, this appeals to a younger hipper audience.
How to Use ‘WTW’ in Content Creation
This casual and everyday acronym is used as a conversation starter. While commonly used between people who are familiar with one another or friends; it can be used to break the ice when chatting with people you may not be that familiar with. ‘Wtw’ is commonly used on most platforms, such as TikTok, Twitter, Gaming Chat Forums, dating apps like Hinge, Tinder, or Bumble, and not forgetting Instagram.
Acronyms such as ‘Wtw’ create relatability, but also support authentic engagement on the platform. It also indicates that the creator is cool and clued up with current trends. Specifically, ‘Wtw’ shows an interest in the user and expresses so many other sentiments.
Examples of ‘WTW’ being used in popular content or captions
This example of an Instagram creator modeling and promoting a fall-inspired jumpsuit carries the ‘Wtw’ hashtag in the description. The creator is inviting followers to comment on the fit and look. This is a platform-approved way to invoke opinions and feedback from viewers.
This social media experiment between teens and their parents is cute and fun. Parents try to guess the meaning of popular social media acronyms. ‘Wtw’, amongst other catchy shorthand is featured in the videos. The guesses are crazy and hilarious, and the teen’s cringe reaction makes the video worth watching. ‘Wtw’ is used in the description of the video.
This cryptic, yet evocative post uses the hashtag “Whatstheword”, appealing to viewers to chime in on the movement. The message is resonant and meaningful, invoking deep and real responses from app users. The use of the social media term makes the message more relatable.
‘WTW’ is truly diverse, with its meaning slightly altering as the context also changes. It is casual and conversational. Its true versatility comes from the acronym’s popularity on Instagram and other social media platforms. Best used and found in captions and the comments sections, ‘WTW’ aids engagement and relatability on any platform it is used on.