Apropos Of Nothing: What Is the Definition of this Interesting Idiom?

The idiom “apropos of nothing” will not be a phrase that you will encounter often. Its usage has fallen by the wayside because of its uptight sound. However, if you have encountered this phrase recently and your confusion as to what it could mean bought you here, then you have come to the right place. Below you will find the meaning of this phrase, information behind its origin, and some example sentences and conversations to help you better understand. You will also discover some alternative words or phrases you can use to replace the phrase “apropos of nothing” during a conversation.

Apropos Of Nothing

Apropos Of Nothing Meaning

The idiom “apropos of nothing” is an idiom that someone states before they say something that has nothing to do with the conversation that is currently happening around them. It means they intend to interject the conversation with a random thought on a completely different topic other than the one that is currently being discussed.

Origin of this idiomatic expression

The word “apropos” is derived from the French phrase “a propos” meaning “to the purpose.” It has existed and been used since the 16th-century. The words “of nothing” were added to the phrase to show that someone is mentioning a topic at random that has nothing to do with the current topic of discussion. You will not hear it as often today because its usage has slipped due to its archaic sounding English.

“Apropos Of Nothing” Examples

Example Sentences

  • Apropos of nothing, Ellen asked her aunt if she had ever read the book Charlotte’s Web.
  • Apropos of nothing in particular, the site included random nonsense stories between serious current events.
  • Apropos of nothing, he suddenly asked me if I liked cats!

Example Conversations

A conversation between father and son.

  • Father: How did the homecoming game go?
  • Son: It went very well. I scored the last touchdown and we won the game.
  • Father: That’s excellent! Apropos of nothing, have you ever thought about flying a plane?
  • Son: From football to planes. That’s random.

A discussion between two co-workers.

  • Co-worker 1: Did you see the new policies regarding our lunch breaks?
  • Co-worker 2: No.
  • Co-worker 1: That’s right, you weren’t here for the start-up meeting we had.
  • Co-worker 2: No, I was not. Apropos of nothing, did you see who was unmasked on the Masked Singer last night?

Alternatives to “Apropos Of Nothing”

There are several alternative words or phrases that you could use to replace the phrase “apropos of nothing” in a conversation. Some of the other words or phrases that you could use include:

  • Irrelevantly
  • Oh, by the way
  • Completely random

What does “Apropos Of Nothing” Mean? | Picture

Apropos Of Nothing Pin

Last Updated on March 19, 2020

3 thoughts on “Apropos Of Nothing: What Is the Definition of this Interesting Idiom?”

  1. Clever and better than BTW. It elevates the quality of conversation and introduction to off topic comments. Also adds a level of humor- such a proper introduction to a thought that is irrelevant or off topic. It’s a keeper.

  2. I wish I felt confident enough to use this phrase. It just doesn’t roll off my tongue compared to “oh, by the way” and I feel that explaining the idiom would not be of any benefit and would only serve to sound pretentious, thus causing embarrassment. A shame though. I like it. You really need to think of your ‘off topic’ sentence before using ‘apropos’ and sometimes that can make you think twice about your interjection.


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