Humor Web Humor What Does RL Mean in Texting? Share PINTEREST Email Print Caiaimage Tom Merton/Getty Images Web Humor Memes Holiday Humor By Paul Gil Paul Gil Technology Writer and Developer University of Alberta Northern Alberta Institute of Technology Paul Gil is a tech expert, writer, and educator known for his dynamic internet and database courses and articles. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 12/10/19 The abbreviation RL stands for "real life" in the truncated parlance of the internet. It is used to reference "my other responsibilities" or "what I do when I am not on the computer." A variation is IRL, which stands for "in real life." RL is a common expression among groups that spend significant online time together, such as IM chat buddies, online gamers, and people who work on virtual teams. RL can also be used in lowercase letters. Examples of RL Usage First user: Come on... let's run another dungeon. Just for an hour! Second user: Sry, man, RL is calling. If I don't cook dinner for the kids now, they'll hassle me all night for macaroni and cheese. Third user: LOL! RL is overrated, and you have too many kids anyways, hahaha Another Example theRanger: What do you do irl? Queequeg: Well, I used to be a cruise director. But now I'm unemployed theRanger: What happened? Queequeg: The boat sank theRanger: :^O Queequeg: FML Although the RL expression has begun to filter into colloquial communications in modern English, like some other internet abbreviations and memes online, its meaning may still be unknown to many. It should not be used in any formal or professional discourse.