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Why the Phrase “Hook-up” is the Absolute Worst

The phrase “hook-up” is part of many peoples’ vocabulary, from parents to teenagers, but everyone uses it in their own way. But, there is not one singular definition that everyone agrees on that can define an intimate and casual encounter. After attempting to Google the definition, even the search engine was confused. 

There are so many ways to use the phrase, I’ve decided to define all of the ones I know of. Let’s start with “hook-up” from a parent’s point of view. 

Hook-up (verb)

Meeting of two people. 

“Hey Jenna, do you ever hook-up with Sally across the street? I haven’t seen her in forever.”

Now, let’s look at it in terms of electronics. 

Hook-up (verb)

Linked or connected to another electronic.

“Can you hook-up this HDMI cord to the television”

Let’s get into what we, as college/university students know it best as.

Hook-up (noun)

A person who has access to something wanted.

“I have a hook-up at the club that can get us a booth for cheap.” 

Hook-up (verb)

To engage in an intimate encounter, usually causal. 

“Did you hook-up with that guy from the bar last night?”


Hook-up (noun)

An individual who you engaged in an intimate and casual encounter with.

“She’s upset her hook-up didn’t call her back”

The last two definitions above seem to be the most confusing. This is because an “intimate encounter” can mean anything from making out, to having sex, and anything in between.

Hooking-up with someone is such a broad way of saying what did and what did not happen. If you think hooking up means making out, and your hookup thinks it means going further, then there can often be miscommunication, and thus problems/drama arises. So, having said that, I am banning the phrase “hooking up”. If you’re old enough to be “hooking up,” you’re old enough to communicate what exactly has happened. Maybe that sense of mystery is what people like. Did we make out? Did we sleep together? I’ll leave it to your imagination. But, I’m here to remind you that no one likes secrets, and no one likes miscommunication unless you’re Satan. Let’s start being specific and stop being annoying. 

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