Sometimes HODL is said to mean “Hold On for Dear Life.” There is some confusion over the validity of this, but I have found a solid answer. Comment #119 on I AM HODLING, the post the HODL meme comes from, says “HODL = Hold On for Dear Life.” That comment was written on February 18th 2013, only 5 days after the original post.
In other words, although HODL is first and foremost a drunken misspelling of HOLD from a December 2013 BitcoinTalk forum post called “I AM HODLING” that instantly became a meme, the interpretation of HODL as an acronym for “Hold On for Dear Life” has its own origins on the original thread the meme comes from.
HODL as an acronym for “Hold On for Dear Life” caught on may not have caught on in its time, and it may be a debated interpretation today, but the backstory gives the “Hold On for Dear Life” interpretation a little more weight than one might otherwise assume.
Check out Comment #119:
What does HODL mean (except for a typo in the tt)
HODL = Hold On for Dear Life
HODL = Hold On to Da Loot
NOTE: Hold On to Da Loot never caught on, but I strongly suggest we all start using it.