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What Is 'IBTL'? What Does IBTL Mean?

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What Is 'IBTL'? What Does IBTL Mean? (photo by Photodisc / Getty Images)
Question: What Is 'IBTL'? What Does IBTL Mean?
Answer: "IBTL" is "in before the lock". You will see this expression in very heated, very controversial, and very inflammatory online discussion threads. Commonly, the topics involve hate-mongering, bickering, ranting, mudslinging, or other mean-spirited or juvenile topics. IBTL is then used by experienced forum members to exclaim that they submitted a reply "before the moderator locks the thread". IBTL can be a cocky statement by people who enjoy online drama, but it can also be a disclaimer by a mature user that they expect the moderator to lock the thread very soon.

Examples of IBTL usage:

  • IBTL! I think that the original poster above is an idiot for even suggesting that eugenics is a viable form of social control. Maybe he should try retroactive eugenics on himself.
  • I think that any idiot should be allowed to be president, regardless of birthplace: it's the American way! Woot, IBTL!
  • IBTL: I think a moderator should lock this thread immediately before it becomes any more juvenile. This is a site for mature adults, and hate-mongering discussions like this have no place in our community. Mods: please lock or delete this thread immediately.
  • If I could post this ibtl: religious arguments like this do nothing for our community. You get to believe whatever you want to believe, but don't use our discussion site as a place to proselytize and recruit for your point of view.


The IBTL expression, like many cultural curiousities of the Internet, is a part of modern English communication.

Read more Internet abbreviations and shorthand expressions...

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