What Is Subtweeting?

secret tip whisper gossip

In the grand tradition of inventing words for things that never needed to exist before, Twitter culture has churned out the term “subtweet.”

Subtweeting is what happens when you tweet about someone without actually mentioning his Twitter handle.

If this still feels like an abstract concept, here’s an example.

A couple weeks ago my boss, Steve Kovach, posed an innocuous question via Twitter: “What is subtweeting?”

The answer came back in the form of a subtweet from Politics editor Walter Hickey:


Even though Steve wasn’t mentioned in the tweet, he knew it was very clearly directed at him.

A scaled-down definition might be this: subtweeting is a way to publicly talk about someone behind his back.

The more you know.