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

  • 2
    @tchrist That might work for cookies; it's less appropriate for biscuits.
    – Andrew Leach
    Oct 4, 2012 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, 2012 at 18:29
  • @andrew I never mentioned anything about biscuits.
    – windfold
    Oct 4, 2012 at 18:30
  • @windfold You never mentioned cookies, either.
    – Andrew Leach
    Oct 4, 2012 at 18:35
  • Most people will not know what TTL means, FWIW. YMMV. 688 / TTFN. Oct 5, 2012 at 0:54

3 Answers 3


Shelf-life seems to fit the bill.

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

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


Best before.
Use by.
Expiry date.
Use before.


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

  • 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, 2012 at 0:37
  • Wiki citation from Chris can go into the answer.
    – Kris
    Oct 5, 2012 at 7:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.