‘What's New?’: Definition, Meaning, Examples

By Carly Forsaith, updated on May 21, 2024

Has anyone ever asked you, 'What's new?' If so, you might have wondered what it meant. In this article, we'll explore the meaning of this popular saying and how to use it in a sentence.

If you just want to know what it means, here's the short version:

  • 'What's new?' is an informal way of asking someone how they are and what's happening in their life. In some contexts, it's also a sarcastic comment to point out that something isn't new.

What Does 'What's New?' Mean?

This idiom is a typical greeting and a way of asking someone if there is any new or exciting information to share. It's often used as a casual conversation starter and is quite colloquial.

For instance, if you bump into a friend you haven't seen in a while, you might say:

Hey Darren, it's been a while! What's new?

Depending on the context, it can sometimes be used as a rhetorical question to make a sarcastic comment.

For example:

Oh, Sally just wants to stay in tonight? What's new?

In the above example, the person observes that Sally usually wants to stay in, so there's nothing new about her wanting to stay in tonight.

Where Does 'What's New?' Come From?

The idiom 'What's new?' is a common and informal expression that has evolved over time in the English language. It has no specific origin tied to a particular historical event or source. Instead, it likely developed organically as a way for people to inquire about the latest happenings or updates in each other's lives.

Many idioms and colloquial expressions arise from everyday language use, reflecting the need for concise and informal communication. In the case of 'What's new?', it serves as a simple and friendly way to express interest in someone's recent experiences or developments.

Fun Fact! This phrase is often used in popular media, from television cartoons such as What's New Scooby-Doo to Tom Jones's song What's New Pussycat?

Examples in Sentences

Now that we've covered the meaning of this idiom and its origins, here are some example sentences where it is used.

We haven't caught up in ages. Tell me, what's new in your life?

Oh, Monday morning again. What's new?

So, what's new in the office these days? Any exciting projects?

I haven't seen you around lately. What's new in your world, Mark?

Family dinner tonight! Can't wait to see everyone. What's new with the kids?

Computer crashed. What's new? It's practically a daily occurrence.

I bumped into Lisa from our old class. We chatted for a bit. Guess what's new with her!

Just wanted to drop you a quick email and see what's new on your end. Any exciting updates?

Saw your latest post! The vacation looks amazing. What's new in that beautiful part of the world?

Hey, I'm gonna be late, missed the bus. What's new in my life?

Other Ways to Say 'What's New?'

There are many other ways to ask someone how they are or what's happening. They're great to use if you're looking for alternative phrases.

  • What's happening?
  • What's going on with you?
  • Any updates?
  • What's the latest?
  • What have you been up to?
  • Is there anything exciting to share?
  • Tell me the news.
  • What's the scoop?
  • What's the buzz?
  • Give me the lowdown.

Concluding Thoughts

That concludes this article about this famous expression. To summarize, when somebody asks you 'What's new?' they want to know what is happening in your life. You should give them an update!

Are you ready to learn more English phrases and expand your vocabulary? Check out our idioms blog for other idioms, expressions, sayings, and more!  

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

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