What does ASL stand for?

Age, sex, location

If someone messages you with ASL, they are asking for your age, sex, and location. This term is commonly used in online chats, on social media platforms, and during texting. The idea behind its usage is to get a basic understanding of the person they are interacting with in these virtual spaces.

ASL evolved as a popular term around the late 1990s when online chatrooms started gaining momentum. Since individuals couldn’t physically see who they were chatting with, asking for the other person’s ASL was a way to get a brief idea of their chat partner’s identity.

However, since ASL can reveal sensitive information about an individual, one must exercise caution while responding to an ASL request. It can either come as a standalone query such as “ASL?” or be part of a sentence and can also be written as A/S/L.

Interestingly, ASL also stands for American Sign Language, a communication method widely used by the deaf community in the United States. So, depending upon the context, ASL in a message might refer to this sign language rather than your age, sex, and location.

Example for using ‘ASL’ in a conversation

Hey! How’s it going?

Hey! I’m good, thanks! What about you?

I’m good too! Just curious, ASL?

Haha, ASL? 20/F/California. What about you?