How are you holding up is an alternative way of saying “How are you doing?”
Typically, it is meant for someone who recently found themselves in a difficult situation, struggles in life, or lost somebody and is mourning.
Sometimes we use this expression in a more literal sense, when we want to figure out what method the subject uses to cope with a certain set of obstacles.
There is no official reference on the origin of “how are you holding up?” However, the sentence structure suggests that it has a modern heritage tracing back a few decades.
In January 2021, an image macro meme was posted on the Facebook page Amreading, featuring a picture of a collapsed pillar of a building, with the caption: “Them: How are you holding up?; Me: ”
- English-grammar-lessons.com – How Are You Holding Up?
- Ksat.com – We asked how you’re holding up: 13 responses that will make you feel less alone