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By the bye

Posted by Shae on May 26, 2004

In Reply to: By the way posted by Henry 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.

I can't find anything in my books to support this, but I suspect 'by the way' may be a derivation/evolution of 'by the bye.' Anyone?