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By the way

Posted by Henry on May 26, 2004

In Reply to: By the way posted by ESC on May 26, 2004

: : I've searched and cannot find the origin of the phrase "By the way". It's used so heavily that a search comes back with thousands of hits.

: : Can anyone clue me in?

: : Thanks...JC

: I'm from the U.S. I've noticed that in British mysteries they sometimes say "any road" instead of "anyway." Which leads me to wonder if "way" in "by the way" means road.

"Any road" is certainly a common saying in Lancashire in Northern England. I think that "by the way" probably means at the wayside - at the side of the road.