You have probably come across abbreviations such as “GL” and “HWP” among others on dating sites and other social sites. And now you are wondering what they really mean and how you can apply them in your daily life. The two words usually used in personal ads and social sites to describe the advertiser’s physical attributes. Get to know what do “GL” and “HWP” mean in personal ads?
GL Meaning and Origin
The abbreviation GL is as old as print media. In social circles, it means “good looking.” It dates back to the days when the only place you could place personal ads was newspapers and magazines. And their charges were based on the number of words you would place. To minimize the cost of such ads, users placing them would use abbreviations and acronyms, and one acronym or abbreviation would be counted as a single word. So instead of being charged for the whole phrase, you would pay for just a single word.
What Does HWP Mean?
HWP is an abbreviation for Height Weight Proportional. It’s usually used in personal ads or on dating sites such as Match, Zoosk, Tinder, and Craigslist, among others, to avoid mentioning body sizes. For example, one could say he’s 5 feet 10 inches tall and HWP. Experienced dating site users will, however, tell you that the terms really mean that one is slightly overweight, but not yet obese.
Interestingly, dating sites still keep specialist abbreviations whose roots can be traced to the time when personal ads would feature in local newspapers and users would pay for space on a per-word basis. As such a term like HWP would be charged as one word yet offer adequate statistical information. Typical users of the term include teenagers and adults.
On the same note, HWP is typically considered as a personal attribute. When you use it in a full sentence, it should be in the form of a predicative adjective. In other words, it should come after the thing it seeks to describe. But you can occasionally use it as an attributive adjective, meaning it can come immediately before the thing it seeks to describe.
It’s worth noting that HWP is also an initialism abbreviation, meaning you can pronounce it using its individual letters. Initialism differs from acronyms in the sense that acronyms can be spoken like words. Before the advent of the digital era, descriptions such as “average build” would be used instead of HWP.
The Bottom Line
Personal ads have been and still are part and parcel of human socialization. They are particularly common on dating sites. While technology may have changed the way and form in which personal ads are presented, they still carry some of their original attributes, including the use of abbreviations and acronyms. And even more interesting, these short forms still retain their original meanings as they were in the old media. While the essence for such short forms in newspapers and magazines was usually to cut on the cost, that’s not the case today with digital media. It’s more about maintaining the old tradition of personal ads.