Pro Tip: Definition, Meaning and Origin

Last Updated on
May 14, 2023

The idiom "pro tip" refers to a piece of expert advice or a helpful hint shared by someone who is experienced in a particular field. This informal expression is commonly used to convey useful information, tricks, or shortcuts that may not be widely known.

In short:

"Pro tip" is a slang term for a valuable piece of advice or insider knowledge shared by an experienced individual.

What Does "Pro Tip" Mean?

People use the idiom "pro tip" to share a piece of advice, a helpful hint, or a useful trick that comes from their experience or expertise in a particular field. The expression is informal and often used in casual conversations or online discussions.

The central elements of the idiom's meaning include:

  • Expert advice or insider knowledge
  • Helpful hints or shortcuts
  • Informal and casual expression

Although the term "pro tip" might suggest that the advice comes from a professional, it can be used by anyone who has valuable knowledge or experience to share.

Where Does "Pro Tip" Come From?

The slang term "pro tip" has its roots in the gaming world, where it was initially used in GamePro magazine to provide gameplay advice as captions for screenshots. The term is a combination of "pro," short for "professional," and "tip." A comically obvious piece of advice in a hoax version of a ProTip for the game Doom led to the term becoming an internet catchphrase, eventually expanding its usage beyond the gaming context.

Today, "pro tip" is widely used to offer helpful suggestions or insider knowledge in various fields and situations. It has become a popular way to share advice, sometimes with a touch of humor, and can be found in casual conversations, social media posts, articles, and instructional materials.

10 Examples of "Pro Tip" in Sentences

Here are some examples of the idiom used in various contexts:

  • When writing an essay, a pro tip is always to proofread it before submission to avoid careless mistakes.
  • A pro tip for your road trip: Be sure to check the latest weather and traffic conditions.
  • Carrying a small notebook and pen with you to jot down ideas or thoughts throughout the day is a pro tip.
  • Closing any unnecessary programs or tabs on your computer to free up bandwidth for smoother video calls is a pro tip.
  • A pro tip for saving space in your suitcase when traveling is to roll your clothes instead of folding them.
  • A helpful pro tip is to be sure to enable two-factor authentication on your account once you've logged in to a website.
  • Pro tip: adding a dash of cinnamon to your coffee can give it a delicious flavor boost.
  • Staying hydrated and reducing plastic waste is easier when you follow this pro tip: keep a reusable water bottle with you.
  • A pro tip for better sleep and overall well-being is to invest in a good quality mattress and pillow.
  • To protect your identity, the pro tip is to use a VPN when surfing the net.

Examples of "Pro Tip" in Pop Culture

"Pro tip" has appeared in various forms of popular culture, such as movies, television shows, podcasts, and social media.

Some examples include:

  • "Pro Tip Extravaganza!" is the title of an episode of "Wild and Exposed" Podcast.
  • "Pro tip: Credibility is everything in this game" is a quote from a 2019 non-fiction book "Outlandish" by Derek Penwell.
  • "Pro Cleaning Tips with Angela Brown" is the title of the 2022 TV series by the clean-influencer Angela Brown. She trains house cleaners and maids in 37 countries and shares household cleaning tips as an author, podcaster, and host.

Other/Different Ways to Say "Pro Tip"

There are several other expressions that convey a similar meaning to "pro tip," including:

  • Expert advice
  • Insider tip
  • Helpful hint
  • Useful trick
  • Words of wisdom

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Pro Tip":

  • What does "pro tip" mean?

"Pro tip" is an informal phrase used to convey a piece of expert advice, a helpful hint, or a useful trick shared by someone who is experienced in a particular field.

  • Where did the phrase "pro tip" come from?

The exact origin of the phrase "pro tip" is unclear, but it is believed to have originated in the late 20th century, possibly in the context of video game culture. It gained widespread popularity with the growth of internet culture and online forums.

  • How do you use "pro tip" in a sentence?

Here's an example sentence using "pro tip": "Pro tip: To stay in the pink of health, be sure to eat nutritious foods, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep."

  • Is the phrase informal?

Yes, "pro tip" is an informal and casual expression. It is commonly used in everyday conversation and online discussions.

  • Are there any alternatives to saying "pro tip"?

Yes, other expressions with a similar meaning include: expert advice, insider tip, helpful hint, useful trick, and words of wisdom.

  • What’s the difference between a pro tip and regular advice?

'Pro tips' come from professionals with specialized knowledge and experience in a field. Regular advice may come from anyone and does not imply a high level of expertise.

  • Where can I find pro tips?

 Pro tips are commonly shared on blogs, podcasts, videos, and social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. You can follow influencers and experts in your industry to gain access to useful pro tips and advice. Reading books and publications focused on your area of interest is another way to source pro tips.

  • Can anyone give a pro tip?

Technically, anyone can label their advice as a "pro tip," but most pro tips imply that the advice comes from a skilled professional or expert in the field. For pro tips to be genuinely valuable, they should be based on years of specialized experience and knowledge that a layperson does not have access to.

  • Is "pro tip" only for professional advice?

Although the term "pro tip" might suggest that the advice comes from a professional, it can be used by anyone who has valuable knowledge or experience to share in a particular field.

  • Is it possible to use the term sarcastically?

Yes, "pro tip" can sometimes be used sarcastically to mock or dismiss someone's advice or knowledge. For example, if someone suggests a blatantly obvious or unhelpful tip, another person might respond with, "Pro tip: Thanks for the groundbreaking advice."

Final Thoughts About "Pro Tip"

To sum up, the idiom "pro tip" is an informal expression used to share a piece of advice, a helpful hint, or a useful trick from someone with expertise or experience in a specific field. It is a popular term in casual conversations and online forums and can be applied to various contexts, ranging from sports and cooking to fashion and business.

Key aspects of the idiom "pro tip":

  • Refers to expert advice or insider knowledge
  • Useful hints or shortcuts shared by experienced individuals
  • Informal and casual expression
  • It has its roots in video game culture but is now widely used across different fields and contexts.

The phrase allows people to share their expertise in a relatable and engaging manner, making it a useful expression for communicating helpful hints and tricks.

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