What Does On That Note Mean?

On That Note Meaning

Definition: To transition from that topic; anyway.

Origin of On That Note

People use this expression in several different ways. One way is to end a speech or conversation after saying something funny or sad or to use it as a signal that the speaker needs to leave.

Other times, people use it after someone else says something depressing or upsetting in order to talk about something happier. They can also use it to change the topic to a slightly related one.

It is unclear exactly how this idiom originated. Some sources speculate that it comes from a musical note. This seems to make sense. The notes of music can sound happy or sad, and they could metaphorically represent upbeat or upsetting conversations.

Alternatively, it could relate to written notes or comments. A meeting might cover different bullet points or notes. If one wanted to transition from one of these notes to another, it would make sense to use this expression.

Unfortunately, there is no evidence readily available to support either theory.

Examples of On That Note

on that note synonymThe dialogue below shows two friends discussing a blind date.

Giuseppe: I just had the worst blind date ever.

May: What happened?

Giuseppe: Well, the woman seemed great at first. She was beautiful and made great conversation. Anyway, I asked her what her hobbies were. She told me that she collected her own hair and nail clippings to make dolls out of.

May: Oh…wow. What did you respond?

Giuseppe: I said, “On that note, it’s time for me to go home.” I had no idea what else to say and couldn’t continue to have a normal conversation because I was so creeped out.

on that same noteIn the dialogue below, a father is talking to his daughter about trying new things.

Rafal: I’m sorry, but you are too young to get your ears pierced.

Vesna: You’re always telling me to try new things. Getting my ears pierced would be a new thing.

Rafal: On that note, I have some new food here for you to try.

Vesna: No!!!

Rafal: If you try this new food I’ll agree to permit you to pierce your ears.

Vesna: Deal!

More Examples

This excerpt is from an article about a star from a boy band that is giving a performance.

  • It was vaguely distracting, but it also reminded me of how intensely I felt for the boy band heroes of my youth, like Hanson and ’N Sync. Every little thing they said during a concert always felt like it was directed just to me. On that note, I was surprised that Harry didn’t utter a word to the crowd until after the third song. –LA Times

The second excerpt is from an article about how to distract oneself from the oncoming bad weather.

  • Sometimes, it’s just easier to spend Saturday binging on a TV show than watching our local TV weather people try to scare us into doomsday bunkers. On that note, the Chronicle features staff has patched together a few suggestions for ways to keep your sanity by falling into the distracting bliss of popular culture. –Houston Chronicle


The phrase on that note is used to change the topic or end the conversation.