Home Tech What Does OTOH Mean? How Can I Use OTOH

What Does OTOH Mean? How Can I Use OTOH

Internet slangs are the rage these days and sometimes you might be confronted with the “What does OTOH mean?” question. 

I will explain what OTOH means in this article and I hope it will help answer the question. I will also be giving out tips on using OTOH in everyday usage as well as online. 

Use the guide below if you’re not totally sure how, why, and when you should use the phrase in sentences. 

What Does OTOH Mean?

Let’s start with the abbreviation OTOH. It means “On The Other Hand” or “On The One Hand”. 

What Does OTOH Mean

The two phrases are not totally the same and I will explain how they differ below but for now, you’re totally clear on your question “What does OTOH mean?”. 

There’s still a lot of useful tips about the phrase you should know about below. 

Evolution of The Phrase OTOH

Contrary to some people’s opinion that Internet slang is “now becoming popular”, Internet slang has been around much longer than recently. 

In fact, OTOH has been around since the 90s and it got really prominent around the early 2000s. 

This shows that for long-time internet users, the abbreviation/phrase OTOH is really old. 

The term isn’t as popular as others like ILY and IMY (to mention a few) but it still gets the occasional mention across sites like Twitter and Reddit where there’s a lot of attention to keeping words in a limit. 

You definitely should learn how to use it because it could come in handy one day. 

At least this way, if you learn some internet slang, you won’t have to ask your teens to explain all their texts if you have kids. 

The Slight Difference Between “On The One Hand” And “On The Other Hand”

The noteworthy thing to know is that they are usually used interchangeably by most internet users but there is still a slight difference that can be spotted by old-time users. 

Take a situation where you’re comparing two phones. You could say 

“On The One Hand, (OTOH) The battery of this one is top-notch, On The Other Hand (OTOH), The camera quality is really poor).”

This small example has shown that even though you would type OTOH in both texts, it wouldn’t be the same OTOH due to slight differences in meanings and English language usage. 

This difference won’t really matter in online usage. It will cause some issues if you use the wrong phrase (I will explain more later in offline usage). 

How Can I Use OTOH? (Online And Offline) 

Now that I have answered your “What does OTOH mean?” question, you might be wondering how to use OTOH in sentences. 

Then read on, I will be explaining exactly that below. Before that, I would like to point out that OTOH can be in all caps or just lowercase letters. 

So take note, it could come in any form. 

Online Usage Of OTOH 

This is relatively simple. Just use OTOH anywhere you would normally use the phrases “On the one hand/On the other hand”. 

You should make sure it fits in grammatically though. Like I touched above, this phrase is usually used in comparison situations. 

You should make sure what you’re trying to do is explain the options you’ve got.

 Whether it is trying to show there aren’t that many good options or whether you’re trying to show that one is better, the phrase OTOH will work perfectly for you in those kinds of situations. 

Offline Usage Of OTOH 

There is now a cross over of internet slangs into every day, face to face conversations. 

Normally, words and phrases that are reserved for texting are now being spoken in real life, real-time conversations. 

This makes it a bit different from internet use because you may not be able to always use the abbreviation OTOH. 

There will be instances where you will have to use the text version itself and it may then rear up the slight differences I explained above before. 

Examples Of Situations You Can Use OTOH In Real-Life Conversations 

I will be using the same conversation above as the first example. 

This is between friends trying to decide what type of mobile phone to buy – 

“On The One Hand (OTOH) The battery of this one is top-notch, On The Other Hand (OTOH), The camera quality is really poor” 

Now the issues here are the one that is being discussed has good battery qualities and poor camera quality. 

To be able to indicate the two options as opposites on a spectrum, you can use OTOH but not just any type of OTOH. 

You will have to use “On The One Hand” first in offline situations because you might not be able to just say OTOH. 

Then to indicate the next option, use the other OTOH “On The Other Hand”. 

This example shows how sometimes offline usage complicates the simple nature of the internet slang OTOH. 

Other Sentences Where You Can Use Only One Of “On The Other Hand” / “On The One Hand” 

There are other situations where you might only need one OTOH in offline sentences. 

In those cases, it probably won’t still matter which of the phrases you use because they’ll just fit in just the same. 

Examples like the sentences below will help explain my point. 

“I could go to the beach, but OTOH I have a ton of work to catch up on”. 

Which of the OTOH phrases will you use? “On The Other Hand” or “On The One Hand”. 

If you put any of the phrases in the OTOH above, you’d find out that it works out well in both cases. 

Because what you’re trying to do is show the options you have. Working or going to the beach. 

So the golden rule of using OTOH  “On The Other Hand” or “On The One Hand” is in comparing two options. 

Offline usage is not as straightforward as online usage but you can usually navigate through it too. 


You’re probably wondering how your simple “What does OTOH mean?” question led you to a full review but I bet you’re glad you took your time to read through. 

Now you’re probably fully confident to use the phrase OTOH in offline and online situations. 

You can even correctly navigate between using the different phrases “On The One Hand/On The Other Hand” in sentences offline. 

If you followed the reading, then you’d also know about the history of OTOH and a little bit about history always helps. 

Please use the comments section to share your favorite online slangs. I would really love to find out if you use OTOH as much as I do when texting online. 

Thank you for reading to the end and I hope this article helped with your “What does OTOH mean?” query.