Abbreviations used in cybertext can be unclear; there are only 26 letters to choose from and some combinations can have more than one meaning. To be certain on the meaning of OTD, you must consider the context of how it is used.
What Does “OTD” Mean?
One of the most common uses of OTD is ‘On This Day‘, which refers to an anniversary of other important dates. Another common use of OTD is ‘On The Dot’, which refers to a specific time of day. Somewhat less common, but often seen in the sales and marketing world is ‘Out The Door’, which refers to the total price of an item, including any extra fees.
Origin of “OTD”
Acronyms and abbreviations have been used for centuries but became more popular in the 1800s when business names were placed on objects that had space limitations. For example, Railroad companies branded their railroad cars, but the names were so long, they used abbreviations like D&H (Delaware and Hudson) and R F & P (Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac). Newspaper stock listings abbreviated lengthy business names like AT&T (American Telephone and Telegraph).
‘On This Day’ is not a new phrase, but an age-old term used when speaking of the current day or that same date in the past. News broadcasters use the term when referring to a historical event happening currently or on the same date many tears ago. For a current event, they may say ‘On this day, our nation is struggling with……’. and proceed to report on what is happening as they are speaking. For a historical event, they may say ‘On this day, 25 years ago….’ and proceed to detail that historical event.
Who Uses “OTD”
Today, electronic messaging has made the use of acronyms and abbreviations part of everyday life for adults, teens, and even children who use personal electronic devices. They are used for both personal and professional communications. While children may not use OTD yet, it won’t be long before they learn OTD and many other abbreviations.
Examples of “OTD”
A search of the internet reveals many uses and meanings for OTD. Below are just some examples of common uses and the related meaning:
- Obsessive Tumblr Disorder*: describes someone who is addicted to that site/app.
- Obsessive Twitter Disorder*: describes someone who is addicted to that site/app.
- Occupational Therapy Doctor: A medical professional who helps patients learn, or relearn, everyday activities.
- On-Time Delivery: In the trucking and delivery world, it describes their commitment to delivering products on time.
- On The Daily: something that occurs every day.
- Open The Door: May be used as a metaphor for allowing someone access to something like a job
- Older Than Dirt: That’s just old!
- Office of Training and Development: A common term used by Corporations and Governments
*Numbers 1 and 2 are an obvious reference to OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), which is a medically diagnosed condition.
So, if you receive a communication that includes OTD, hopefully, the context of the message makes the intended meaning obvious. If not, you can make an assumption, ignore it or ask the author what they meant.