What does PTB stand for?

Powers that be

When you hear someone using the term ‘PTB’, they are referring to any power or authority that is beyond their control. This could be anyone from their bosses, to their parents, or even a higher entity. Essentially, it’s a shorthand way of expressing a situation where someone else has more influence or control.

‘PTB’ is an abbreviation of the phrase ‘powers that be’, condensed into a more compact form. It’s not certain when this term first came into use, but it really started to take off with the rise of internet chat and text messaging around the early 2000s.

It’s worth noting that ‘PTB’ isn’t a particularly widespread slang term. It’s mostly used by those who enjoy the unique language of online chat. It’s often used when people are expressing frustrations about things they can’t control, like securing a loan from the bank, or landing a job.

Alternatively, ‘PTB’ might be used when someone is hoping for a stroke of good luck, like winning the lottery. In this context, the ‘powers’ in question might be seen as a divine force capable of granting miracles.

Example for using ‘PTB’ in a conversation

Hey, did you hear? I got denied for that loan I applied for.

Aw, man. That’s tough. The PTB can be so frustrating sometimes!