What Does IRL Mean?

  • Irl is short for a real phrase.
  • Use irl if you want to differentiate reality from what’s happening in games, on social media, or on TV.

There is definitely something appealing about video games or careful promotion on social media. However, we must not lose what is happening to us because of this.

The Meaning of Irl

Irl in real life means that we are talking about our normal daily life, and not about the digital life that we lead on the Internet.

The phrase irl appeared at the dawn of the Internet, when people saw the need to distinguish between what was happening on the Internet and what was happening offline. As people have found ways to present an alternative picture of themselves online, irl has become an abbreviation for distinguishing between how things look on the Internet and how they really are.

How to Use Irl

Earl is online slang, so it is not used in formal conversations. If you are having a formal conversation, consider replacing it with “really”.

When you use irl, you have a choice: whether to use all caps or not is fine anyway. Just remember that this means that something is not happening in the environment where it is talked about, or that it is not what it seems on the Internet or on TV.


  • I’m thinking about buying a sword irl.
  • Those Instagram pictures have been retouched; he has considerably less hair irl.
  • I met Javier Bardem at the airport; he’s very nice irl.

Irl Meaning Infographic

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