A Complete Guide to Understanding the “ELI5” Acronym

Where Did the Phrase ELI5 Come From?

The phrase “ELI5” is an acronym that stands for “Explain Like I’m 5.” It is used as a request for a simplified or layman’s explanation of a concept or idea.

The phrase originated on the popular website Reddit, where it is used in various sub-communities (called “subreddits”) to ask for explanations of complex or technical topics.

The ELI5 subreddit was created on January 18th, 2011, and has since become one of the most popular and active communities on Reddit. It is a place for people to ask for and provide explanations of a wide range of subjects, from science and technology to history and current events.

The subreddit’s name is a reference to the common request for explanations that are “explained like I’m 5 years old,” indicating that the explanation should be simple and easy to understand.

The use of the phrase “ELI5” has spread beyond the subreddit and is now commonly used in other online communities, social media platforms, and in person. Often used in the context of educating, or helping others understand a complex topic by breaking down and simplifying it.

Overall the phrase ELI5 has become an internet phenomenon and part of the everyday language, allowing people to communicate and understand complicated ideas in an easy and accessible way.

FAQs

“Where did the phrase ‘ELI5’ come from?”

The phrase “ELI5” is an acronym that stands for “Explain Like I’m 5.” It originated on the popular website Reddit, where it is used in various sub-communities to ask for explanations of complex or technical topics. The ELI5 subreddit was created on January 18th, 2011, and has since become one of the most popular and active communities on Reddit.

Is ‘ELI5’ only used on Reddit?

While the phrase and subreddit are both originated on Reddit, it is now commonly used in other online communities, social media platforms and even in person as well. The phrase has become an internet phenomena and part of everyday language, allowing people to communicate and understand complicated ideas in an easy and accessible way.

What is the purpose of using the phrase ‘ELI5’ when asking a question?

The purpose of using the phrase “ELI5” is to request a simplified or layman’s explanation of a concept or idea. It is used to ask for explanations that are easy to understand, usually explained as if to a five-year-old.

Is it appropriate to use the phrase ‘ELI5’ when asking a question in a professional setting?

The appropriateness of using the phrase “ELI5” in a professional setting would depend on the context and audience. In general, it is a colloquial phrase and it may not be appropriate in formal, professional settings. However, in some cases, it could be appropriate if the audience is non-technical and the goal is to make complex information easy to understand.

Are there any alternatives to the phrase ‘ELI5’ that could be used to request a simplified explanation?

Yes, there are other ways to request a simplified explanation. For example, “Can you explain this in simple terms?” or “Can you give me a layman’s explanation of this?”

Is there a specific format when asking a question using the phrase ‘ELI5’?

There is no specific format when asking a question using the phrase “ELI5.” It can be used as a standalone phrase or at the beginning of a question, such as “ELI5: how do airplanes fly?”. The most important aspect is to clearly convey your request for a simplified explanation.

 

 

 

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