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Thread: By the by


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 1
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    #1

    By the by

    Hi,

    Could someone please shed light on the phrase "by the by"? It would be greatly appreciated if you could define it and give an example of appropriate usage.

    Thanks


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,425
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    #2

    Re: By the by

    by the by: incidentally; parenthetically

    So - I'll see you at the restaurant on Saturday. Oh, by the by, is it BYOG.?

    BYOG : bring your own grog (=alcohol)

    Most restaurants these days have a liquor licence. In 'the old days', if a restaurant didn't, people would bring their own bottle of wine and the restaurant would charge a nominal fee for 'corkage' - opening and serving the wine in glasses they provided. Unless one had been to the restaurant, one had to check - otherwise, no grog.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #3

    Re: By the by

    Brewer's comments on this phrase:

    En passant, laterally connected with the main subject. “By-play” is side or secondary play; “By-lanes and streets” are those which branch out of the main thoroughfare. The first “by” means passing from one to another, as in the phrase “Day by day.” Thus “By-the-by” is passing from the main subject to a by or secondary one.

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