Washington Post July 21 issue carries an article under the headline, “The Cruz-Trump relationship goes solid #TBT,” followed by the lead copy;

And now the finale. Tonight is "Making America One Again" night in Cleveland, featuring speeches by Reince Priebus, Ivanka Trump, and of course, the nominee himself.

Cambridge English Dictionary doesn’t carry the word, TBT. Oxford English Dictionary defines it as [chemical] an abbreviation of Tributyltin.

internetslang com. defines it as an internet slang for “Truth be told,” which reminded me of a corporate slogan of a New York-based ad agency I happend to work there for more than 30 years – “Truth well told.” I don't know if the company slogan I was familiar with is relevant to "#TBT,” or not.

Is “(#)TBT” a common English term? How can I interpret, and translate “The Cruz-Trump relationship goes solid #TBT” in plain English?

  • 3
    google.co.in/search?q=TBT Throwback Thursday. It's a new generation hashtag thingy. :)
    – NVZ
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 9:30
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    After all, #TBT was irrelevant to "Truth well told." But it threw me back the day when I was one of Mad Men in 1960's. Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 22:40

2 Answers 2


The TBT Acronym or hashtag used in a social media app such as Instagram or Vine, or on a website like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Tumblr, Reddit, etc

  • It means ThrowBack Thursday, basically where you remember things from your past on Thursday, or any day of the week.

Here it refers to a confrontation between the two leaders.

From the Washington Post:

  • During a contentious breakfast here Thursday morning with the Texas delegation — some in the group booed and heckled their senator — Cruz delivered a lengthy defense of his exhortation to Republicans the night before to “vote your conscience.” He said the party needs to “stand for shared principles” if Republicans want to win in November, but he also vowed not to speak negatively about Trump.

TBT origin:

  • In 2006, Matt Halfhill thought there could be an opportunity to do something similar to tech blogs like Gizmodo but about sneakers, moving the conversation between avid sneakerheads out of online forums into a venue with frequent posts, an easy-to-read layout and a voice. He called it NiceKicks.com.

  • He liked how some blogs had regular weekly features, so around July 2006, he came up with a few of his own. “Release Reminder” would be about when new shoes were going to drop. “Throwback Thursday” would be about an old shoe he liked, to break up the focus on all things new. And naturally, it would come out on Thursdays.

  • Little did Halfhill know that Throwback Thursday would turn into such a huge phenomenon — it’s now the nostalgic and self-deprecating practice of posting an older photo of yourself, often on Instagram, on Thursdays. The hashtag #tbt has been used 193 million times on Instagram and #throwbackthursday 38 million times, according to a spokeswoman.


Adding to @Josh61's answer, #TBT is used only on Thursday and its primary purpose is to let others know how you looked in the past by posting a picture of your earlier time.

TBT, TT, FBF: These terms are for types of flashbacks, to show friends and family a glimpse of the past. TBT stands for “throwback Thursday” and is one of the most popular hashtags. TT stands for “transformation Tuesday” and is usually used to show a change in appearance (weight loss, haircut, etc.). FBF stands for “flashback Friday” and is pretty much the same as TBT, except it’s used on Fridays.

[Source: ibtimes.com]

Trump and Senator Cruz were known to have bromance (See the related article "A Timeline Of Donald Trump And Ted Cruz’s Deteriorating Bromance") before their relationship fell apart after they viciously attacked each other. The headline could be rephrased to:

The Cruz-Trump relationship goes solid. Isn't it what happened in the past before it went sour? Do you remember?

Using #TBT is a way of letting readers know it is a glimpse of the past.

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