What Does “TBA” Mean? How, When & Where It Can Be Used

Excited for a festival lineup or athletic event but instead of an artist’s name or confirmed date it just states “TBA”? Here’s what that means…

Abbreviations have been used to save time and effort during communication since the mid to late 1800s. While some are quite easy to decipher, many others are not, especially in the context of a topic you’re unfamiliar with.

We all know what “LOL” means now, but that could well be because it was shoved down our throats on all social platforms from the get-go. While abbreviations, acronyms, initialisms and the like were created en masse with the internet age, there are many others that have been around much longer and used in much more professional scenarios.

What Does “TBA” Mean? How, When & Where It Can Be UsedPin

“TBA” is an example of the latter and is used on professional schedules, engagement announcements and sporting fixture lists for many years. But, the reason you’re here, is to find out what it means – so let’s get to it.

What Does “TBA” Stand For?

“TBA” means “To Be Announced” and is often used when the time, date, or participants of a meeting or event have yet to be confirmed, or to build excitement for an announcement, like with a music festival lineup.

So, if you’ve just seen this lettering written on an invitation or event schedule, it means that you’re likely due to be receiving further correspondence and information.

For example, with an engagement announcement, you’ll be officially told the time and date once the wedding invitations go out. Or, with a festival line-up, the event organisers will do an official announcement of the artists closer to the date. These are just a few random examples of the usage of this abbreviation, though, but they should translate effectively into your scenario.

When To Use “TBA”

“TBA” is a phrase that may be used in a similar way to “TBC,” which indicates “to be confirmed.” Generally speaking, “TBA” denotes that the information is being withheld for the time being, as opposed to “TBC,” which indicates that the time or date of something is indeed still to be determined.

“TBA” is often used to generate anticipation for some news or information, and it is also a legitimate marketing method for creating and sustaining excitement for something until it actually occurs.

“TBA” can be used when plans are in the very preliminary stages and when the only information you currently have confirmed is the date of the event. This allows potential guests to save the date before you actually get round to confirming a location or start time.

When Not To Use “TBA”

Going off the back of “when to use TBA”, this section is going to be almost self-explanatory but also slightly advisory.

When you’re planning weddings, funerals, baptisms or fight club meetings, never use “TBA” if you already have all the information required to complete the invitation and render the event official.

People may prioritise particular dates in the diary that have been fully organised and confirmed over your incomplete arrangement – and you could miss out on the attendance of a number of potential guests.

Jake McEvoy

Jake is a professional copywriter, journalist, and life-long fan of technology. He covers news and user guides for KnowYourMobile.

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