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What does “GTG” mean and how do you use it?

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Has anyone ever called you “GTG!”

; instead of goodbye? Here’s what that means and how you can use it to get out of a conversation quickly.

“Have to go”

GTG stands for ‘Got to go’ or, less often, ‘Going to go’. It can be used in both upper case GTG and lower case “gtg”, which is more common.

It is used to tell someone you are talking to (especially online) that you are about to leave the conversation. Depending on the context, this could mean that you are moving elsewhere, or that you are about to go offline and stop using your device for any reason. Alternatively, it is also an easy way to end a conversation that you no longer want to join.

GTG is synonymous with similar slang phrases like ‘Gotta go’ or ‘Should run’. It is also often used as a substitute for “Goodbye” or “Goodnight”, which are often used to end a conversation. Saying GTG implies that there is a reason you are about to leave, such as sleeping or going to work. It is also related to initialisms such as BRB and TTYL, which imply shorter pauses.

The abbreviation is often used in online gaming. For example, in multiplayer titles, single games or quests can last an hour or more. If your teammate invites you to play another round, but you don’t have enough time, you can tell him you have gtg.

A Brief History of GTG

A woman waving goodbye to an office full of people.
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GTG is part of the group of online initialisms that came about in the 1990s thanks to internet chat rooms conducted via IRC technology. Aside from the usefulness of shortening longer sentences to fit limited screen sizes and character limits, the acronym also played an important role in early messaging. Since IRC did not have “online statuses” like later programs, it was essential to let your partner know that you were about to leave. By saying GTG, people were quick to do that.

The first definition for GTG on the Urban Dictionary internet slang database came about in July 2002, which is significantly earlier than most internet slang terms. It just says, “I have to go.”

Since then, it has become a widespread concept in online messaging. It was widely used when instant messaging and texting became prominent in the 2000s, and it is still used today in current messaging apps such as WhatsApp and iMessage.

RELATED: Why 2020 is the perfect time to revisit IRC

“Good to Go” and G2G

An alternate definition for GTG is “Good to go”, which means you’re on to something. For example, if someone asks you if you are willing to start a video meeting, you can say you are “gtg” or “good to go.” Be careful, although this is used often enough to be a valid definition of the acronym. Since “must go” and “good to go” mean essentially opposite things, readers must use contextual cues to determine which is which. It is probably better to take the extra seconds to type ‘Good to Go’.

On the other hand, an alternate spelling for “I have to go” is G2G, which means the same thing. This was invented around the same time as GTG and is also known.

Don’t confuse these abbreviations for “GtG,” which stands for gray-to-gray, a measure of pixel speed for computer screens. Also, you shouldn’t confuse these with G2G.com, an online video game marketplace.

How to use GTG

A woman waves to a computer during a video call.
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The easy way to use GTG is to replace “Goodbye”. Where you might say to someone, says gtg, the point comes across in a similar way. It can also be used alongside ‘Goodbye’ or ‘Goodbye’. It’s a very casual acronym, so only use it in face-to-face conversations with friends or family members.

However, sometimes GTG is used even when the person has nowhere else to go. When a conversation has become boring, boring, or uncomfortable, using GTG is a great way to stop unwanted questions. Most of the time people understand that it is a signal that the conversation is over, regardless of the actual reason.

Here are a few examples of initialism in action:

  • “GTG, got to catch a train!”
  • ‘Sorry, I have to get up early tomorrow. gtg. “
  • “G2g, it was nice talking to you.”
  • ‘GTG. Bye for now. “

Are you interested in more information about online slang terms? Then view our explanation about LMK, TTYL and WYD.

RELATED: What does “LTTP” mean and how do you use it?

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