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I'm looking for a word that encapsulates the phrases "freshness duration" or "duration until something is stale".

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@tchrist That might work for cookies; it's less appropriate for biscuits. –  Andrew Leach Oct 4 '12 at 16:40
    
TTL is what I settled on for lack of a better alternative @tchrist if you post that as an answer I'll accept it. –  windfold Oct 4 '12 at 18:29
    
@andrew I never mentioned anything about biscuits. –  windfold Oct 4 '12 at 18:30
    
@windfold You never mentioned cookies, either. –  Andrew Leach Oct 4 '12 at 18:35
    
Most people will not know what TTL means, FWIW. YMMV. 688 / TTFN. –  Russell McMahon Oct 5 '12 at 0:54
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3 Answers

Shelf-life seems to fit the bill.

Oxford Dictionaries (as below) | Merriam-Webster | Dictionary.com

Definition of shelf life
    noun
        the length of time for which an item remains usable, fit for consumption, or saleable:
            the shelf life of fresh pasta
        figurative
            the new strategy will be lucky if it has a shelf life of more than a few months

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You might want to add a definition to your answer (to combat link rot). –  JLG Oct 5 '12 at 5:18
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Best before.
Use by.
Expiry date.
Use before.

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In programming we use TTL, meaning time to live, on packets, cookies, etc.

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cookies have expiry, no TTL.TCP transport (packets) and DNS do have TTL. Although as the world has descended into madness and anarchy, some people do write very loosely about cookie TTL. Wikipedia article on TTL en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_to_live –  Chris Oct 5 '12 at 0:37
    
Wiki citation from Chris can go into the answer. –  Kris Oct 5 '12 at 7:00
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