What is ELI5?

Back to Glossary

ELI5 is an acronym that stands for “explain like I’m 5”. It is a term used to suggest simplifying the concepts of cryptocurrencies and blockchain, given they are relatively new fields.

Many cryptocurrency and blockchain articles are written with this concept, providing detailed answers and definitions to many vague concepts.

Although used across the board in various industries, the crypto community adopted the term to inform a speaker or writer when things need to be stated in clearer and simpler forms.

Where does ELI5 come from?

The ELI5 concept stems from Albert Einstein famous quote – if you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you do not understand it yourself. A statement he used to suggest that complex topics can be broken down into more straightforward concepts enough for a child to understand.

The acronym in itself, however, gained popularity more recently in the early 2010s. Social platforms such as Reddit, Twitter, and Facebook saw widespread use of the term when users ask questions they may be uncomfortable asking in a typical setting. The question is usually written in a specific format where the acronym comes first, followed by the said question.

For example, one of the most popular questions on a subreddit goes thus – ELI5: Why does “Hoo” produce cold air but “Haa” produces hot air?