ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Apr 23 15:09:27 UTC 2014

I saw the following interaction containing the word "subtweet" on twitter today:

[Begin excerpt]
Steve Orlando ‏@thesteveorlando
Okay I don't know what a subtweet is

Tom Spurgeon ‏@comicsreporter
@thesteveorlando it's ridiculous that some people don't even know what
a subtweet is
[End excerpt]

Word Spy and the ADS mailing list archive did not have "subtweet".
However, it was listed in the Urban Dictionary and Fritinancy had a
relevant post


[Begin excerpt]
March 25, 2013
Word of the Week: Subtweet

Subtweet: On Twitter, a tweet that refers to a person without
including his or her Twitter handle; the online version of talking
about someone behind his back. Compressed from “subliminal tweet.”
[End excerpt]

Finding the first use of "subtweet" with the appropriate sense would
be difficult. Instead, here are some random observations.

Below is a precursor message that does not use the word "subtweet",
but does use the word subliminal:

[Begin tweet]
Mike Billeter @mikebilleter
@kristenpitt Clearly, you were the person to whom I was referring in
that tweet. I can't believe you figured out my subliminal message.
6:36 PM May 19th, 2008
[End tweet]

The message below uses "subtweet" with a different meaning:

[Begin tweet]
Iain Tait @iaintait
When you retweet (RT) something but alter it in a subversive way it
needs to be called a subtweet (ST). Ready..?
5:04 PM Apr 30th, 2009
[End tweet]

The message below also uses "subtweet" with a different meaning, probably:

[Begin tweet]
Claire Underwood @KingJasmine_
@ari_nicole a subtweet is a subliminal tweet. It has a hidden meaning
1:28 AM Dec 7th, 2009
[End tweet]

The message below fits the meaning, but refers to an unused convention
of adding the word "subtweet" to the message:

[Begin tweet]
UrDudeLovesMyKicks @DC_KickChick
@ebony_essence subliminal tweet...basically writing to someone without
saying they're name...u replace their name with subtweet
6:24 PM Dec 15th, 2009
[End tweet]


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