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

Do you know the definition of ASL? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the abbreviation ASL, including its definition, usage, examples, and more!

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What does the acronym ASL stand for?

According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the acronym ASL most commonly stands for American Sign Language. This natural language is used by the American deaf community in the United States. ASL has its own grammar different from English grammar that may sound like a whole different language to hearing people than spoken language or written English. While it uses the same English words, English speakers who are not deaf may find the construction of sentences very different. This predominant sign language of deaf communities in the United States uses ASL signs to communicate. In modern ASL, these are formed by a hand shape and facial expression. ASL grammar has a different grammatical structure than English and is the primate language of many North Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing. ASL is usually written in uppercase, not lowercase. Try learning some new phrases in ASL today to communicate with people you know who are deaf! Around the world, there are also different sign languages like British Sign Language and French Sign Language. These languages are complex, but with practice you will be singing in no time. 

According to Dictionary, ASL can also stand for age/sex/location. This is used in online chats and social media like Twitter, Instagram, by TikTok users and online dating sites as a slang term to ask a person’s age, gender, and city. You would most commonly see this used in chat rooms or on an app like WhatsApp, especially in the earlier days of the internet. These new phrases may throw you for a loop, but don’t fret!

According to The Free Dictionary, the acronym ASL has many other different meanings that just American Sign Language or Age Sex Location. While these other definitions are still valid, they are less common and should be used with caution. If you do decide to use one of these alternate definitions, make sure that you provide the reader or listener with the proper context so that they can infer the correct intended meaning. 

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  •  Approved Source List
  •  Audiophile Systems Ltd
  •  Aggregate Stop Loss (Insurance industry term)
  •  Amiga Standard Library (UI development)
  •  Amwell Services Ltd
  •  Assistant Secretary for Legislation
  •  Applying the Science of Learning
  •  Adaptive Speed Leveling (US Robotics)
  •  Average Staffing Levels
  •  Apache Software License (Apache Software Foundation)
  •  Action Semantics Language (extension of UML which allows executable models)
  •  Analytical Chemistry and Nanosciences Short Lectures
  •  Above Sea Level
  •  Archipelagic Sea Lane (US DoD)
  •  Automatic Sound Levelizer
  •  Association Strümpell-Lorrain
  •  Auto Service Leasing
  •  Advanced Squad Leader (Multi-Man Publishing magazine)
  •  American Soccer League
  •  Amador Stage Lines, Inc.
  •  After School Learning
  •  Arctic Submarine Laboratory (NOSC)
  •  Authorised Signatory List
  •  Architektur, Stadtplanung, Landschaftsplanung (German: Architecture, Urban Planning, Landscape Planning)
  •  Albert Sloman Library (UK)
  •  Assign Switch Locator (SL) Routing (US DoD)
  •  Additional Support for Learning (various locations)
  •  Ada Structured Library
  •  Axpo Super League (sports; Switzerland)
  •  Aeronautical Structures Laboratory
  •  Adaptive Switch Laboratories, Inc.
  •  Armor School Library (Ft Knox, KY, USA)
  •  Authorized Stock(age) List
  •  Ask Sponsored Listing (online advertising)
  •  Archdiocese of Saint Louis (St. Louis, MO)
  •  Agencement Sonorisation Lumière (French lighting company)
  •  Australasian Suomalaisten Liitto
  •  Arterial Spin Labeling (medical imaging method)
  •  Azimuth Steering Line (US Air Force; fighter plane guide)
  •  Approved Supplier List
  •  Account Spending Limit (Sprint)
  •  Aquitaine Services Logistique (France)
  •  Analytical Service Laboratory (International Rice Research Institute; Philippines)
  •  Active Service List (computer networking)
  •  Action Specification Language
  •  Active Speech Level
  •  Association Sports et Loisirs (French: Sports & Recreation Association)
  •  Atomic Space Lab (cartoon)
  •  Aiken-Augusta Swim League
  •  Advanced Software Logic, Inc.
  •  Astro Space Locator (software)
  •  Active Status List
  •  Adaptive Systems Laboratory (various universities)
  •  Active Supplier List
  •  Aircraft Services Lemwerder GmbH
  •  Australian Society for Limnology
  •  authorized stockage list (Army)
  •  Affordable Sound and Light
  •  Average Service Life (depreciation)
  •  Arithmetic Shift Left
  •  Anti-Secession Law (China)
  •  Array Support Library
  •  Appalachian School of Law
  •  About Spanish Language
  •  Association for Symbolic Logic
  •  Alarm Systems Limited
  •  Anarchist Soccer League
  •  Aeronautical Systems Laboratory
  •  Asia Supreme Life
  •  Architecture Simulation Laboratory
  •  Automated Securities Lending
  •  Alternate Storage Location
  •  Automatic Sound Leveliser
  •  Applied Science Laboratories
  •  Art Students League
  •  Application Scripting Language
  •  Acadian Seaplants Limited (Canada)
  •  Animal Science Lab (various schools)
  •  Advanced Science Letters (journal)
  •  Advanced Solutions Limited
  •  Atmospheric Surface Layer
  •  Acquisition Summary Listing
  •  Advanced Squad Leader (board game)
  •  A Static Lullaby (band)
  •  Autonomous Systems Lab
  •  American Strength Legends
  •  Association pour la Sauvegarde du Léman
  •  Alliance Systems Ltd. (UK)
  •  Antenna Software Ltd
  •  Anderson Strickler, LLC
  •  Assault
  •  Automatic Speed Limiter
  •  American Scientific Lighting
  •  Association du Syndrome de Lowe
  •  Assistant Squad Leader
  •  Albuquerque Soccer League
  •  Adapter Scripting Language (programming)
  •  Appropriation Summary Ledger
  •  Apollo Scientific Ltd. (UK)
  •  Assigned Stockage List
  •  Art and Science Laboratory
  •  Application Services Library
  •  Allowable Supply List
  •  Avionics System LAN
  •  Assistant Scout Leader
  •  Assembler Source Language
  •  Adobe Styles
  •  Aviation Support and Logistics
  •  Albuquerque Seismological Laboratory
  •  Application-Specific Language
  •  Art Slide Library (Brown University; Rhode Island)
  •  Airway Surface Liquid (physiology)
  •  Association des Sciences du Langage (French: Association of Language Sciences)
  •  Astaro Security Linux
  •  Azienda Sanitaria Locale
  •  Anti-Saloon League (1893-1933; Ohio)
  •  Approval Services Laboratory
  •  Assigned Stockage Level
  •  ACPI Source Language
  •  Alpha Systems Laboratories
  •  Atmospheric Sciences Laboratory
  •  Adventure Seekers Ltd
  •  Autobacs Sportscar Laboratory, Co, Ltd
  •  Autonomous Script Language
  •  Amorphous Silicon Laboratory
  •  American School of London
  •  Applied Superconductor Ltd. (UK)
  •  Analyser Sales Ltd
  •  Associations Syndicales Libres
  •  Advanced Simulation Laboratory
  •  Allery Scotts Ltd
  •  Anna Sobol Levy (foundation; New York, NY)
  •  Accounting Solutions Limited

Overall, the term ASL means either age/sex/location or American Sign Language. Age/sex/location is a term used in chat rooms to ask someone basic information about themselves. American Sign Language is a language used to communicate by or with a deaf person. 

Sources:

  1. ASL – What does ASL stand for? | The Free Dictionary 
  2. ASL | American Heritage Dictionary Entry
  3. Asl | Definition of Asl | Dictionary.com