What does “Funny ASL” mean?

What does "Funny ASL" mean?

Words are our medium to convey thoughts to others. Inherently—like everything else in the world—as time evolves, so do our forms of communicating with one another. Things evolve into more compact utilities under extensive research, studies, and development. Language and slang have also been introduced and were greatly popularized around the 1920s. Read more What does “Funny ASL” mean?

The phrase “funny asl” or the abbreviation ‘asl’ itself was popularized around 2010 on the internet. It’s simply used to intensify expressions and is derived from the phrase “as hell”. An example of this expression’s usage is:

“Hey, have you seen the comments on this person’s video?”

“Yeah, those were funny asl.”

Along with the rising popularity of the internet at that time, everything has shortened; for instance, mail that is typically written on paper can now be sent through a computer and the recipient will receive the said mail within a few seconds. Shortcut or abbreviated words have also been widespread throughout social media; one of them said abbreviations are used in the sentence above. 

Where Did “Funny ASL” Come from?

Typically, most people of the 21st century are inclined to use short phrases that may not be familiar to veteran age. These days, people often fail to recognize where actual adapted and disseminated words originate. Rather, they abide by the current flow of mainstream and disregard—whether intentionally or not—such concerns.

To evaluate more on that, the phrase “as hell” most likely roots from African-American Vernacular English or AAVE; predominantly known as ‘ebonics’ or ‘blaccent’. In the majority of people today, AAVE phrases tend to get misinterpreted as ‘gen z slang’ in general or sometimes, ‘gay slang’. This puts a discredit to AAVE which, if you put it into perspective, may get taken lightly when brought upon certain discussions. To emphasize more on that, while a few people like to argue that ‘gatekeeping’ AAVE is ‘not that deep’ and counterproductive, other parties postulate on the idea that contempt to black people’s right to be vocal is blatant ableism.

Despite the dispute between parties, it is an undeniable fact that the language has been adapted by non-blacks for generations now; therefore, the concept of extracting something deeply embedded in people seems unattainable.

Where is “Funny ASL” Mostly Used?

The phrase—and other phrases similar to it—is mostly seen being used in mainstream social media. These include Instagram and Twitter where the majority of their users are teens, young adults, and adults. Taking that into consideration, the demographic that predominantly use this phrase ranges from the aforementioned.

According to an article reported by Zack Abrams (2019) “America’s most common slang words”, in the face of slang being widely tolerated in various platforms and media, the idea of colloquial words being used while at work irks the majority of Americans. This, of course, is by no means unreasonable; according to a poll conducted by OnePoll, 37% revealed that slang being used in a workplace is deemed unacceptable. 55% of polled found it inappropriate to include “lol” in an email addressing the boss whilst nearly half of the population accepted such slang in an email addressing a co-worker.

Apart from these statistics presented above, “asl” is not alone when it comes to conventional and casual use on the internet. Along with “asl”, there are more commonly used slangs that for some reason, made their way to the typical American language. Like a normalized communication method of some sort. This slang may also come in acronyms. Such colloquial languages are as follows: (Note that listed below are an excerpt from the actual list of most used slangs. Meaning, presented on the list below are included but are not limited to that scope.)

  1. Bae. A ‘pet name’ is often used to address or pertain to a significant other.
  2. SMH. Meaning “so much hate”; Used to express disdain, dislike, disappointment, etc.
  3. Lit. Expression to describe something amazing, impressive and exciting.
  4. Fam. One of many slangs to address a friend.
  5. GOAT. Meaning “greatest of all time”; Used to describe the idea of, or someone amazing, great, classic.
  6. Gucci. Good, excellent; typically used in phrases like “Everything’s Gucci.”
  7. Fire. Alternative for “lit”.
  8. Spill the tea. To reveal something. Typically, a drama or issue; thus, the tea.
  9. Throw shade. To diss, or insult someone/something without making it obvious.
  10. Woke. Used to describe an act of being pretentious towards a social issue.

(SWNS, 2019)

Are There Certain Rules in Using This Phrase?

There are no standardized rules nor there are restrictions that you can or cannot use. However, it’s objectively unnecessary and redundant to keep using the same expression in the same context/sentence. Despite being part of the colloquial language, one must still adhere to necessary speaking to perhaps avoid others’ annoyance.


The diversity in people often manifests the difference of generation; whether it’s through an exhibition of behavioral norms that weren’t normalized before or through our way of expression. As generations’ way of living evolves, so does our medium of understanding with one another. Slangs were popularized in the 21st century and are predominant in everyday communications from adolescents to adults. The ethical side of slang conveys historical affairs. AAVE plays a big part in slang that we utilize in everyday encounters; whether or not it’s ethical to gatekeep this jargon, is debatable. 

What does “Funny ASL” mean?

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