or dt or DTs


What does DT mean?


The abbreviation DT can variously stand for delirium tremens, a symptom of withdrawal; double tap, a reference to liking someone's post on Instagram; detective; defensive tackle in football; or school detention.

Examples of DT


Examples of DT
The defensive tackles (DT) line up inside the defensive ends (DE).
Howie Long & John Czarnecki, Football for Dummies, 2011
1980s addict: *shaking* I've got the DTs 2010s addict: *vibrating* I've got the RTs
@ItsAndyRyan, May 2017

Where does DT come from?


Delirium tremens, also known as the DTs, was coined in 1813 to describe particularly horrible symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, although its use later spread to other addictive substances, particularly opiates.

The expression delirium tremens is Latin. Delirium refers to the “madness” some experience in withdrawal, including hallucinations, and tremens refers to the “shaking” people get. The shortening of delirium tremens to DT or DTs occurred as early as 1861. 

By at least 1921, DT came to be used as shorthand for detective. In the later half of the 20th century, DT was especially used to refer to members of drug offense squads—perhaps an oblique reference to the DTs experienced by drug users.

On a brighter, more contemporary note, DT on social media platforms like Instagram is short for double tap. In the Instagram app, users can “like” a post by tapping it twice, hence DT. This abbreviation is often used as a hashtag, #dt, as a way to encourage others to like one’s post.

In American football, DT is an acronym for defensive tackle, often one of the strongest and biggest players on the team and whose job it is to break the offensive line. The position of defensive tackle has been abbreviated as DT since at least the 1960s.

If you act up in class, you might get hit with a school DT, or detention,  a tried-and-true tactic that schools the world over use to punish students. In DT, usually held outside school hours, you might have to do extra schoolwork or, if you’re Bart Simpsons, write out lines on the chalkboard.

Simpsons Wiki

Who uses DT?

In the context of drug and alcohol use and rehabilitation, the DTs most often refer to delirium tremens—although it could possibly refer to the detective (DT) who is after you for drug use or dealing.

On Instagram, people might ask for #dt or #DoubleTaps to get more likes on their content. They also use the hashtag #dt to express appreciation for something, such as their favorite sports team or celebrity.

In the world of American (as well as Canadian) football, a DT, for defensive tackle, is a key player on the defensive line.

If you get a DT, sometimes modified with the descriptor school, it means detention. As glamorous as The Breakfast Club makes them seem, DTs aren’t usually so fun and life-changing.

Universal / The Atlantic

And, of course, we’d be remiss if we failed to point out that DT has, since his election in 2016, become online shorthand for people to refer to the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, without using his name explicitly.

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