What Does BTW Mean?

BTW (By The Way) is typically used to change subject during a conversation. It can be used as a preamble or a postamble to signify the change of subject. For example:
  • BTW I like your hair.
  • (Here, BTW is a preamble, i.e., before the text.)
  • I like your hair BTW.
  • (Here, BTW is a postamble, i.e., after the text.)
Of note, BTW is occasionally used to mean "back to work."

Image for BTW

When I write BTW, I mean this:

meaning of BTW

BTW is commonly used to change subject during a conversation.

Summary of Key Points

"By the Way" is the most common definition for BTW on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Definition:By the Way
Guessability:guessability level 3
3: Guessable
Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

Examples of BTW in Sentences

Here is an example of BTW being used in a conversation:
  • Charlie: Jack and Jill are going up the hill later.
  • Jordan: She'll like that.
  • Charlie: BTW my cat brought someone's hamster home last night.
  • Jordan: No way!
  • Charlie: Yes way!

An Academic Look at BTW

BTW is an initialism abbreviation. Technically, this means it is pronounced using its individual letters (i.e., Bee Tee Dublyu), but as this is less intuitive to say than "by the way," it is not often said using its letters. In other words, the abbreviation BTW is for efficiency in writing and not efficiency in speech.

What Did We Say before Texting and Social Media?

Before the digital era, we might have said something like "changing the subject" instead of BTW.

Example of BTW Used in a Text


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