The Meaning of ASL: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of ASL? This guide will give you all of the information you need on the meaning of ASL: its definition, usage, and more.

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What Does ASL Stand For?

The abbreviation ASL can stand for two different things, primarily. First, this acronym can stand for American Sign Language. This is a language used by deaf people in the United States.

While this is not a spoken language, it is signed with movements of the hands. This is the primary language of many English speakers who are North Americans (the USA and Canada) who are deaf. However, there are many different sign languages in different countries, including British Sign Language in the United Kingdom, French Sign Language, and more. 

This visual language using body movements and facial expressions used by a deaf person might have been taught to them as a deaf child, learned in high school, or later. 

A hearing person can also learn ASL to become an interpreter or communicate with deaf people. ASL users have a large vocabulary of ASL signs. There are many synonyms for English words, yet, the syntax is different, and the language has its own grammar.

ASL can also stand for Age/Sex/Location. This was formerly used in chat rooms to introduce a person by their age and gender but is now used on social media sites like Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, webchats, and more.

This is a simple way of asking for an introduction from new people. Often in this introduction, someone will ask “ASL?” followed by a question mark. Then, the other person will respond. This internet slang term is one of many new phrases one might find on the internet.

What Else Can the Abbreviation ASL Stand For?

The Free Dictionary states that, aside from American Sign Language and Age/Sex/Location, the acronym ASL has a great many other potential meanings — hundreds of them! If you hear someone use the abbreviation ASL and it is unclear what they mean, don’t be afraid to ask since this term has a wide range of possible definitions.

Companies & Associations

Here are some companies and associations that use the abbreviation ASL:

  • Applying the Science of Learning
  •  Association pour la Sauvegarde du Léman
  •  Australian Society for Limnology
  •  Authorised Signatory List
  •  Anton Szandor LaVey (High Priest of the Church of Satan)
  •  Autobacs Sportscar Laboratory, Co, Ltd
  •  Analytical Service Laboratory (International Rice Research Institute; Philippines)
  •  Amwell Services Ltd
  •  Anna Sobol Levy (foundation; New York, NY)
  •  Alpha Systems Laboratories
  •  Additional Support for Learning (various locations)
  •  Advanced Science Letters (journal)
  •  Association Strümpell-Lorrain
  •  Association for Symbolic Logic
  •  Axpo Super League (sports; Switzerland)
  •  Ask Sponsored Listing (online advertising)
  •  Alliance Systems Ltd. (UK)
  •  Apache Software License (Apache Software Foundation)
  •  American Strength Legends
  •  Account Spending Limit (Sprint)
  •  Association des Sciences du Langage (French: Association of Language Sciences)
  •  Armor School Library (Ft Knox, KY, USA)
  •  Associations Syndicales Libres
  •  Apollo Scientific Ltd. (UK)
  •  Approval Services Laboratory
  •  Archdiocese of Saint Louis (St. Louis, MO)
  •  American Soccer League
  •  Agencement Sonorisation Lumière (French lighting company)

Military and Government

ASL can also refer to various squads, lists, laws, and languages in the military. Have you heard of these ASL meanings?

  • Assistant Squad Leader
  •  Atmospheric Surface Layer
  •  Authorized Stock(age) List
  •  Approved Supplier List
  •  Acquisition Summary Listing
  •  Authorized Stockage List (Army)
  •  Aeronautical Structures Laboratory
  •  Armor School Library (Ft Knox, KY, USA)
  •  Assign Switch Locator (SL) Routing (US DoD)
  •  Approved Source List
  •  Average Staffing Levels
  •  Appropriation Summary Ledger
  •  Additional Support for Learning (various locations)
  •  Active Status List
  •  Assigned Stockage Level
  •  Anti-Secession Law (China)
  •  Avionics System LAN
  •  Assault
  •  Archipelagic Sea Lane (US DoD)
  •  Albuquerque Seismological Laboratory
  •  Assigned Stockage List
  •  Allowable Supply List
  •  Azimuth Steering Line (US Air Force; fighter plane guide)

Products & Technology

When shopping, you might also see the phrase ASL to refer to these products and technical tools:

  • Adobe Styles
  •  Application-Specific Language
  •  ACPI Source Language
  •  Amador Stage Lines, Inc.
  •  Array Support Library
  •  Application Scripting Language
  •  Arithmetic Shift Left
  •  Assembler Source Language
  •  Astaro Security Linux
  •  Application Services Library
  •  Apache Software License (Apache Software Foundation)
  •  Autonomous Script Language
  •  Automatic Sound Levelizer
  •  Analyser Sales Ltd
  •  Adapter Scripting Language (programming)
  •  Age Sex Location


Finally, ASL has plenty of scientific meanings that may help out some future chemists, biologists, and STEM aficionados! Check these out today:

  • Astro Space Locator (software)
  •  Animal Science Lab (various schools)
  •  Ada Structured Library
  •  Applied Superconductor Ltd. (UK)
  •  Analytical Chemistry and Nanosciences Short Lectures
  •  Australian Society for Limnology
  •  Arterial Spin Labeling (medical imaging method)
  •  Analytical Service Laboratory (International Rice Research Institute; Philippines)
  •  Airway Surface Liquid (physiology)
  •  Advanced Science Letters (journal)
  •  Apollo Scientific Ltd. (UK)
  •  Amorphous Silicon Laboratory
  •  Adaptive Switch Laboratories, Inc.
  •  Art and Science Laboratory
  •  Approval Services Laboratory
  •  Atmospheric Surface Layer
  •  Association for Symbolic Logic
  •  Architecture Simulation Laboratory
  •  Autonomous Script Language
  •  American Scientific Lighting
  •  Acquisition Summary Listing
  •  Adaptive Systems Laboratory (various universities)
  •  Autonomous Systems Lab
  •  Advanced Simulation Laboratory


Overall, the term ASL can either stand for American Sign Language or Age Sex Location. American Sign Language is a hand-signed language used by the deaf in North America. It is also used to communicate with deaf people by hearing people. Age Sex Location is a common introduction in online chat forums.


  1. ASL | The Free Dictionary
  2. What Is American Sign Language (ASL)? | NIDCD
  3. Age/sex/location: uncovering the social cues in the development of online relationships | NCBI