I have moved to a new job in a new country. One of my old colleagues send me an email asking "what are you new coordinates?". Does he/she mean what is your new contact information? Or it is an idiom and he/she means how things are going at the new country/workplace?

Sorry if my question seems silly, but I am not an English native speaker.

  • 1
    It will be them asking for your location. Are they quirky?
    – Dog Lover
    Jul 24, 2017 at 8:36
  • Is the old colleague a non-native English speaker or a native speaker of, say, Indian English? If they are a native speaker of a dialect then this use of coordinates could be an expression common in that dialect, but most of us from the UK or US wouldn't recognise it.
    – BoldBen
    Oct 21, 2017 at 12:31
  • 1
    The person sounds French: Quelles sont vos coordonées? in French means What is address and telephone number, for example. And that was way before any GPS.
    – Lambie
    Sep 27, 2021 at 14:13
  • She's trying to be quaint and attract your attention.
    – desbest
    Sep 27, 2021 at 15:10

3 Answers 3


The relevant literal sense of "coordinates" is geographic coordinates, specifically latitude and longitude, nowadays sometimes called "GPS coordinates".

But it's really just a humorous way to ask where you are now; (s)he's not really expecting coordinates back. You can either reply with a normal-person description of your location (such as "I'm in Paris", or "I'm in a suburb of Washington, D.C.", or "I'm in London, near the Eye", or "I'm in a secret bunker in an undisclosed location"), or double down on your colleague's joke by looking up your coordinates and sending those instead!

Or it is an idiom and he/she means how things are going at the new country/workplace?

That's not what (s)he means, but it would be very reasonable to say a bit about that (such as "It's been an adjustment — did you know that some Americans walk barefoot in the street? — but overall I'm really loving it!").

  • Although I cannot find an authoritative definition for this, I have seen it used in the sense of "contact details" too (e.g. when recruiters message me on LinkedIn, asking for a way to get in touch with me personally). Though not yet defined, it does seem to be in active use.
    – Flater
    Aug 7, 2017 at 12:56
  • @Flater: Interesting! I haven't run into that one. But in the OP's case, the old colleague apparently still has the OP's contact information, so that doesn't seem to be the intended sense.
    – ruakh
    Aug 7, 2017 at 14:47
  • It's not impossible that he e.g. only has the OP's current email address, and is looking to find out his new phone number and/or address (since the OP moved to another country, it stands to reason that his phone number and address have changed, while his email address has not).
    – Flater
    Aug 7, 2017 at 15:07

Coordinates in India have started to mean contact information like phone numbers, emails and address. Essentially, how one can be traced in today's digital world. It's an unintentional pun on geograhpic coordinates, which would help you locate where you were on Planet Earth (like a thriller movie).


I have heard it before in India and suspect it may be in common use. For example, I have been CC'd an email asking someone to "upload their coordinates" where it definitely meant to upload their contact details.

  • 1
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    Oct 21, 2017 at 8:38

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