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TL

What Does TL Mean in a Text?

Expressing Love in a Text

There are over 100 novel ways to express love in a text message. Some of them were invented by the iKids (i.e., Millennials, Generation Z, and Generation A), making them just a few decades old, but many of them have been around for centuries. Here's the one that matters to you: The abbreviation TL means "Timeline," "Talk Later," "True Love," "Team Leader," "Tight Lines," "Tough Luck," and "Tenderloin."

Timeline

TL is used widely online with the meaning "Timeline." On Twitter your TL displays a stream of Tweets from accounts you have chosen to follow, as well as suggested content, promoted Tweets and Retweets. On Google Maps your TL displays information about where you went, what time you left and came back, what kind of transport you used, and the photos you took. For example:
  • Dani: My Twitter TL has been completely dead lately.
  • Georgie: Mine too. It's not the same since The Donald stopped tweeting.
  • Lew: How are things with Jay?
  • Lew: We split 2 weeks ago. He was not at all happy when he saw my TL on Google Maps.

Talk Later

When used with the meaning "Talk Later," TL is often used at the end of a text message as a sign off. TL is a promise to get back in touch soon. In this context, TL carries a connotation of "I am too busy to talk now." For example:
  • Sam: Fancy a chat?
  • Jo: I'm in work right now. TL.

True Love

TL is also used with the meaning "True Love" to express deep and sincere devotion. For example:
  • Fran: I love you so much I will even hold my farts in for you.
  • Terri: Wow! Now that's TL!

Team Leader

In business circles, TL designates the appointed manager of a team.

Tight Lines

When used with the meaning "Tight Lines," TL is a wish for good luck. Although TL comes from the world of angling, where "Tight Lines" indicate much success in catching fish, it is now used much more widely. For example:
  • Lee: I have an interview for a new job this afternoon.
  • Mel: I'm sure you'll knock them out! TL!

Tough Luck

TL is typically used with the meaning "Tough Luck," as an expression of sympathy with someone's ill fortune. However, it can also be used as a sarcastic response to someone moaning about their perceived bad luck. For example:
  • Han: I was planning to go to the match on Saturday, but now I have to work.
  • Dee: That's such TL! Can I have your ticket.
  • (Here TL is (almost) a genuine expression of sympathy.)
  • Harry: I am sick and tired of the press always hounding us!
  • Wills: TL bro! Think of the benefits.
  • (Here TL is being used sarcastically.)

Tenderloin

TL refers to a well-known neighborhood of San Francisco, California. TL is famous for its classic concert venues, historic theaters, colorful streets and underground art spaces.

Image for TL

When I write TL, I mean this:

meaning of TL

TL also means "Timeline," "True Love," "Team Leader," "Tight Lines," "Tough Luck," and "Tenderloin."

Summary of Key Points

First Definition of TL

"Timeline" is the most common definition for TL, especially on Twitter.
TL
Definition:Timeline
Type:Abbreviation
Guessability:guessability level 2
2: Quite easy to guess
Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

Second Definition of TL

"Talk Later" is another common definition for TL on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
TL
Definition:Talk Later
Type:Abbreviation
Guessability:guessability level 2
2: Quite easy to guess
Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

Third Definition of TL

"True Love" is another common definition for TL.
TL
Definition:True Love
Type:Abbreviation
Guessability:guessability level 2
2: Quite easy to guess
Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

Fourth Definition of TL

"Team Leader" is a common definition for TL in business circles.
TL
Definition:Team Leader
Type:Abbreviation
Guessability:guessability level 3

3: Guessable

Typical Users:typical user

Adults

Fifth Definition of TL

"Tight Lines" is another definition for TL.
TL
Definition:Tight Lines
Type:Abbreviation
Guessability:guessability level 4

4: Difficult to guess

Typical Users:typical user

Adults

Sixth Definition of TL

TL also means "Tough Luck."
TL
Definition:Tough Luck
Type:Abbreviation
Guessability:guessability level 3

3: Guessable

Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

Seventh Definition of TL

"Tenderloin" is a common definition for TL in San Francisco.
TL
Definition:Tenderloin
Type:Abbreviation
Guessability:guessability level 4

4: Difficult to guess

Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

An Academic Look at TL

As it is pronounced using its individual letters (i.e., "Tee Ell"), TL is classified as an initialism abbreviation. Initialisms are different to acronyms, which are spoken like words. However, TL is not often spoken using its letters. It is usually employed for efficiency in writing and not efficiency in speech.

Example of TL Used in a Text

TL
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