tl;dr or TL; DR or tldr


What does tl;dr mean?

Tl;dr stands for "too long; didn't read."

While the internet acronym can criticize a piece of writing as overly long, it often is used to give a helpful, witty, or snarky summary of a much longer story or complicated phenomenon.

Related words:

  • cool story, bro
  • teal dear
  • tl;dc
  • too lazy, didn't read
Examples of TL;DR


Examples of TL;DR
To fully understand a post, it is good form to read the TL;DR before and after reading the post
@GRobbedU, May, 2018
If you’re super lazy and didn’t read the TL;DR version, here’s a TL;DR of the TL;DR: getting old kinda sucks; we change (sometimes for the worse) and the people we love and used to recognise change around us.
Bradley Russell, GamesRadar+, January, 2018
So a couple days ago I realized I stopped my dark humor and going crazy because the fear of the pretentious jerks on internet... I rather have fun with my edgy shit, that's how I started, that's how I wanna end TL;DR: I am back with my bullshit
@_SrPelo_, May, 2018

Where does TL;DR come from?


The abbreviation tl;dr is found on a Usenet newsgroup about video games as early as 2002 and earned entry on Urban Dictionary by the following year. Originally, tl;dr was an insult, used in reaction to some post, comment, or content seen as wordy or longwinded—as if literally saying “This is way too long, so I didn’t read it.”

By 2005, tl;dr had taken on a second meaning as a shorthand for a “summary,” frequently called the tl;dr version of a longer account or article. Tl;dr took off with social media in the 2010s, boosted by the practice of linking out to longer content on platforms like Twitter while offering a quick take on it.

Memes sometimes use tl;dr to suggest prominent figures haven’t read some text they claim to value, like the Bible or US Constitution.

Who uses TL;DR?

Tl;dr can give a genuine summary of a much longer piece—the gist, the big takeaway, the moral of the story.

This is the schtick of one film review site, TL;DR Movies, which opens each review with a brief judgment before going into its longer view, like this tl;dr on Avengers: Infinity Wars: “TL;DR – Infinity War brings everyone together and then tares them apart leaving you with a foreboding as to what will happen next, but also an excitement as they try to work it all out.”

People might also use tl;dr in personal accounts along the lines of “to make a long story short” or “to get to the point”:

Tl;dr can also issue a snarky take on a longer, more complex topic, as if boiling it down to its essence.

One might dismiss a document seen as overly long with a tl;dr, like those ridiculously long and dense “Terms of Service” forms we always sign without ever reading.

Occasionally, tl;dr can stand for too lazy, didn’t read, sometimes used when a person makes fun of their own short attention span.  

Based on its form, others humorously call and imagine tl;dr as a teal deer, a kind of spirit animal guiding us through the wilderness of too much internet content.

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