Parental Tips

Behind the Acronym: ASL Meaning in Slang, Its Roots, and Usage by Teens

It’s ingrained in teen culture to create abbreviations and slang to use online and in text messages. Adults learned the meanings of “LOL” and “WTF,” and they now have to understand the new “ASL” meaning slang word.

To better understand what your teens talk about online and keep them safe, learning important terms, such as the meaning of ASL, makes all the difference.


Origin of ASL

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The original definition of the abbreviation of ASL stands for American Sign Language.

Sign language is used by those who are deaf or hard of hearing to communicate with their hands.

However, in modern-day language amongst teens, the acronym ASL has taken on a new meaning that isn’t as wholesome as its origin.

ASL Meaning in Slang

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according to Urban Dictionary, the ASL meaning in slang translates to “as hell.”

When the acronym is pronounced aloud, ASL sounds like you say “as hell” in a slow, trendy way.

One way a teenager may use ASL in slang is when they want to emphasize something crazy or to an extreme.

For example, “I stayed up all night playing video games; I’m tired ASL today.”

ASL also appears in videos, comments, and captions on the popular TikTok app.

You may also see the slang term written in undercase letters (asl) when it is written and used in this this.

ASL Meaning in Text

Urban Dictionary provides a second definition for ASL when used in texting and messaging.

ASL also means “Age/Sex/Location” in terms of chatting with someone over the Internet.

When chatting online, using the term ASL is a quick way to ask the following three questions:

  1. How old are you?
  2. What is your sex?
  3. Where are you located?

With just a three-letter phrase, someone online can obtain sensitive information from your teen.

ASL is a dangerous slang term that can get your teen into trouble if they speak to strangers online. This is often seen as a predatory acronym that leads to inappropriate behavior.

Examples of Use

asl meaning in slang

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Knowing the different definitions of ASL is crucial to understanding if your teen is in a seriously dangerous situation or simply communicating with friends.

When you see ASL used at the end of a sentence and without a question mark, it is likely the first definition, “as hell.”

We’ve come up with some examples of ASL used in a harmless way below:

  • “I accidentally threw a ball through my kitchen window, and my dad was mad asl!”
  • “Dude, Mr. Smith was crazy ASL today in class.”
  • “He’s dumb ASL!”

When ASL is used in a conversation over messaging, it is usually found at the beginning of the conversation, when two people get to know each other.

You will often see ASL with a question mark after or as a stand-alone message.

A conversation where someone is using ASL to ask about age/sex/location may look something like this.

  • Teen: Hey!
  • Stranger: Hi! Nice to meet you!
  • Teen: You too! You look pretty chill from your profile pic.
  • Stranger: Thanks! Let’s cut to the chase — ASL?
  • Teen: 18/Female/Boston

If you see this kind of conversation between your teen and someone online, it’s important to say something to them.

Talk with Your Kid About ASL Slang

Be open with your teens about current slang and the potential dangers behind their meanings.

Start a conversation with your kid by asking them if they know what ASL means. If they do, ask them to explain it to you and lead into a conversation about why it is a dangerous question to answer.

If they do not know what it means, warn them. Explain that it means people want to know their age, sex, and location. Let your child know that it can lead to a dangerous situation, and they should not answer this question.

Stay Safe with Kids360

asl meaning text slang

Kids360 app

While it’s important to allow your teen to have privacy online, it is still important to monitor how they spend their time in the virtual world.

One way to keep your teen safe online is with the Kids360 app. Parents can set screen time schedules, see which apps their teens use the most, and limit app usage throughout the day.

Kids360 is an easy way to ensure your teen uses the Internet and their smartphone safely, especially when networking and making friends online. Try it right now!


How do I know if my teen is using ASL in a dangerous way?

When you see a conversation with ASL at the beginning, it is most likely between your teen and a stranger. The stranger wants to know personal information about your teen. This is a dangerous situation you should warn your teen to avoid.

What does ASL slang word stand for?

ASL has two meanings in today’s slang. The first is an innocent emphasis, “as hell,” while the other is more predatory, meaning “age/sex/location.”

How can I keep up with my teen’s slang words and phrases?

Listen to how your teens speak to you and with their friends. If you don’t know a word, ask them about it. You can also use Urban Dictionary to keep up with the latest slang words and meanings.

Why should I know the meaning of slang words?

As a parent, it’s important to keep up with your kids’ slang words to understand if they are in danger or not. For example, knowing what ASL means helps you protect your child from online predators.

The picture on the front page: YanLev Alexey/

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