Hand holding small sign reading "On My Way" in front of a road.
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Want to let someone know you’re going somewhere? You might want to use the acronym OMW. Maybe someone’s said it to you when you invited them to your pool party. Find out what it means and how to use it.

On My Way

OMW stands for “on my way.” It’s an acronym you often text someone to signify that you’re on your way to a particular location, like a designated meeting place or someone else’s home. You could text someone “I’m OMW to your house” to tell them that you’re currently driving to their residence.

You will often see the acronym in very short texts. For example, if someone texts you, “are you headed here,” you might reply with “omw” to tell them that you are. You could also combine it with other helpful information, such as “OMW, be there in 5 minutes.”

While OMW can be written in either uppercase or lowercase, the lowercase version has become much more popular in recent years.

The History of OMW

OMW has been around on the internet since at least the early 2000s, likely earlier. Since this predates the rise of SMS and instant messaging to talk to IRL friends and family, it was mainly a way to signify to teammates in video games that you were headed to their location. The first entry for the acronym on Urban Dictionary dates back to 2003 and reads, “On My Way, very useful in games.”

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OMW became much more popular in the 2010s with the rise of messaging apps and texting as a primary method of communication. People started using it to quickly update others they were meeting at a specific place.

Actually On Your Way?

You can send OMW as a way to inform others that you’re headed to a location, but on its own, OMW doesn’t provide a lot of information. Being on your way can mean anything from 2 minutes away to 3 hours away. That’s why replying with “OMW” is a deliberately vague way to update someone that you’re proceeding to a destination without admitting to being late.

Just because someone says they’re OMW doesn’t necessarily mean they’re on the way. Some people will text the acronym when they haven’t even gotten out of bed yet. Some tell-tale signs that someone isn’t being truthful about being on the way include withholding their estimated arrival time and not providing their current location.

OMW Alternatives

A common variation of “OMW” is “OTW,” which stands for “on the way.” It essentially means the same thing, which is that something is currently headed somewhere. However, whereas OMW conveys that you are personally going somewhere, you can use OTW to refer to other objects or people.

For example, if someone asks you where the delivery person is, you could respond to them that they’re OTW. However, you can also use OTW to refer to yourself. You might tell someone “I’m OTW” to signify that you’re headed somewhere.

Another thing you should remember is that “OMW” and its full phrase “on my way” can have significantly different meanings. OMW is considered a very casual, non-committal piece of internet slang. On the other hand, saying “on my way!” takes more effort to type, and therefore comes with the expectation that you’re excited to arrive at your destination.

Woman riding on a jet ski
Gorlov-KV/Shutterstock.com

There was a funny issue related to this acronym happening on iPhones in the mid-2010s. Apple users reported that typing “OMW” autocorrected into “on my way!” which made them seem way more eager than intended. Apple users made many memes and funny posts about the subject. These included image macros, showing someone in a jetski or a fast car with the caption “when your phone corrects omw to ‘on my way!'”

How to Use OMW

OMW can be used in any scenario that involves informing someone else that you’re headed somewhere. The uppercase OMW and lowercase omw can be used interchangeably.

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Here are a few examples of the acronym in action:

  • “Don’t worry, I’m omw.”
  • “Just left the house. I’m OMW now.”
  • “OMW, I’ll be there in half an hour.”
  • “omw.”

If you want to get up to speed on other internet slang terms, you can read our guides on TBH, WYD, and NVM.

RELATED: What Does "TBH" Mean, and How Do You Use It?

Vann Vicente Vann Vicente
Vann Vicente has been a technology writer for four years, with a focus on explainers geared towards average consumers. He also works as a digital marketer for a regional e-commerce website. He's invested in internet culture, social media, and how people interact with the web.
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