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HODL originates from a misspelling of 'hold' and has come to describe an investment mentality characterized by refusing to sell amidst short-term volatility, instructing to 'Hold On for Dear Life'.

The term arose from a spelling mistake in a 2013 BitcoinTalk thread where the user explained why they were holding in the market circumstances; the user admitted being a 'bad day trader' and not having the skill set needed to succeed in short-term trading.