1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

What Is 'ASL'? What Does the Expression ASL Mean?


Couple laying on floor, using laptop and mp3 player
Cultura RM/Steven Lam/Collection Mix: Subjects/Getty Images
Question: What Is 'ASL'? What Does the Expression ASL Mean?
Answer: "A/S/L" is short for asking "what is your age/sex/location?", a type of abrupt question that is common in online chat forums. It is how regular users identify if you are a man or woman, and if you are in their age range.

A/S/L is often spelled as lowercase "a/s/l" or "asl" for ease of typing. The uppercase and lowercase versions mean the same thing.

Be warned: when people use asl, it often means that they are trying to quickly assess you as a potential object of flirtation.

Recommended response to deter sexual advances: be as truthful as you can be, while still being firm and clear, and without giving away clues to your real life identity or specific location. For example, a bad response would be "27/female/Millcreek in Denver", as this discloses very regional information about your location. A better response would be "old enough to know you're being rude / married female / Colorado", or "31 / married male / Ontario".

Examples of A/S/L usage:

  • (User 1)Hi, everyone! I'm new here to the forum, and am looking to meet more people who are fans of The Tudors show.
  • (User 2)Fresh meat! A/S/L?
  • (User 1)Dream on, perv! I'm 43/athletic woman/work with your parents. Good enough?

The a/s/l expression, like many cultural curiousities of the Internet, is a part of modern English communication.

Read more Internet abbreviations and shorthand expressions...

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.