What Does BTW Mean? The Abbreviation Explained

, Staff Writer
Updated October 6, 2021
Colleagues leaving office BTW Abbreviation Explained
    Colleagues leaving office BTW Abbreviation Explained
    The Good Brigade / DigitalVision / Getty Images
    Used under Getty Images license

BTW, which stands for “By The Way,” is a popular abbreviation in textspeak. It is used online, in SMS text and even in speech. Discover the different meanings and uses of BTW.

BTW as an Abbreviation

BTW (also written btw) is an initialism, so each letter is pronounced individually if you say it out loud. It is commonly used on social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more, as well as text messaging and occasionally real-life conversations. When said out loud, typically by younger people, it can also be pronounced “BT dubs.”

History of BTW

The exact origin of the term is unknown, but it was featured on a 1989 list of text abbreviations. BTW was originally used in internet chatrooms and then increased in popularity with SMS text and eventually social media.


Other Meanings of BTW

BTW has several meanings beyond “by the way.” Depending on the context, you can use BTW to mean any of the following:

  • Between

  • Back To Work

  • Born This Way

  • Be That Way

  • Born To Win

  • Between The Words

  • Behind The Wheel

  • Best To Worst

Examples and Usage of BTW

BTW is usually informal and placed at the beginning or end of a sentence. You can use it to indicate additional information or to make a statement more casual. It’s also a great way to change topics and transition into a subject you want to discuss. Depending on your tone, the use of BTW can be polite, snarky or anywhere in between.

Some examples of how to use BTW in a text or message include:

  • BTW, I’m free on Saturday.

  • BTW, don’t forget to do your homework.

  • Are you free tomorrow night, BTW?

  • Thanks, BTW. Love you!

  • BTW, I’m still planning on coming over later.

  • I really enjoyed the movie. BTW, do you have any more recommendations?

  • There’s a quiz tomorrow, BTW.


Explore other common abbreviations that you can use in place of BTW.

  • ICYMI - In Case You Missed It

  • OTOH - On The Other Hand

  • TBH - To Be Honest

  • FYI - For Your Information

  • IAC - In Any Case

  • YSK - You Should Know

  • JSYK - Just So You Know

  • P.S. - Postscript

  • AFIAK - As Far As I Know