Preteen boy in glasses on a laptop smiling and rolling eyes

If you’ve come across the acronym “wbk” on Twitter and had no idea what it meant, read on. We’ll explain what it and its expansion mean on the internet.

We Been Knew

WBK stands for “we been knew.” If you’re still confused, don’t worry. While WBK and “we been knew” have gained widespread usage across a younger generation, they might be a little bit difficult to get a grasp on.

“We been knew” means that something that’s been said is something you already know and is incredibly obvious to most people. It’s essentially the slang equivalent to “yeah, obviously.” WBK implies that you’ve already known about this for a long time, and you think the other person is OOTL or “out of the loop.”

WBK is its initialism and is frequently seen on Twitter, TikTok, and other social media apps. It is often written in the lowercase “wbk” instead of the uppercase “WBK.” It’s synonymous with the older slang term “duh,” which also refers to self-explanatory things.

Here’s an example of how someone might use the term:

  • Person A: I wonder how we’re going to win the basketball game tomorrow.
  • Person B: Well, we have to score more points than the other team.
  • Person A: We been knew.

The History of WBK and We Been Knew

WBK and “we been knew” come from African-American Vernacular English, also called AAVE. The full phrase has been used in AAVE for a long time before its surge in usage on the internet. It and its acronym only gained wide use on the internet in the last few years.

The first definitions for “we been knew” and WBK on the online slang database Urban Dictionary are dated to 2017 and 2018, respectively. Since its introduction to the internet, it has become a staple of internet talk, especially among younger people interested in pop culture.

WBK on the Internet

Young fans at a concert

The main use of WBK and “we been knew” is among young “stans” on the internet, particularly on the social media app Twitter. Stans are highly dedicated, intense fans who support a certain celebrity or internet personality. They often use wbk in a way that is complementary to their favorite artist. For example, if one fan says, “this new song is so good,” someone else may reply “wbk!” to suggest that it’s obviously very good.

RELATED: What Is a "Stan," and Where Does the Name Come From?

Another use for this initialism is when someone seems surprised by something that isn’t really that surprising. For example, in response to an article about suspicious advertising practices, someone says, “I can’t believe that Facebook collects this much personal information about me!” As a humorous response, you might say, “Facebook? Collecting all your information for advertising purposes? WBK.” This tells them that it shouldn’t be surprising that Facebook is collecting that much data.

WBK in Conversations

Teenage girl smiling and sitting on couch with smartphone

Another way to use wbk is in conversations with friends. For example, someone in your group chat points out that everyone takes a very long time to reply. You might message “wbk” to validate that people are replying much slower than before.

The acronym can also be used to make fun of someone that late to a certain cultural moment. For example, if someone recently watched Lord of the Rings for the first time, they might mention, “Wow, these movies are so long!” If you want to provide a snarks response, you could say, “Wow, Lord of the Rings? Long? We been knew.”

How to Use WBK

Some things are important to know before you start placing WBK in all your text messages. First, while it is growing in popularity, it is a fairly recent piece of internet slang, so many people still might not understand what it means. Additionally, it can come across as slightly snarky to those that do understand it, so be conscious about the tone that your message takes.

WBK can work as its own response, or it can be part of a bigger sentence. Here are a few examples of wbk in action:

  • “WBK.”
  • “You just realized that Die Hard is a Christmas movie? We been knew.”
  • “Yes, she’s releasing the album tomorrow! WBK!”

If you want to learn about a few other online slang terms, check out our pieces on NVM, TBH, and ITT. It might help you avoid a “wbk” moment when you’re on social media!

RELATED: What Does "NVM" Mean, and How Do You Use It?

Profile Photo for Vann Vicente Vann Vicente
Vann Vicente has been a technology writer for four years, with a focus on explainers geared towards average consumers. He also works as a digital marketer for a regional e-commerce website. He's invested in internet culture, social media, and how people interact with the web.
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