What Does BL Mean?

The abbreviation BL is used with a number of meanings, including "Bad Luck," "Boy Love," and "Bottom Line." Here is more information about each of these definitions, with examples of how and when to use them.

Bad Luck

image for BL showing broken mirror

In informal or casual text messaging and conversations online, BL is widely used as an abbreviation of the phrase "bad luck." It is typically used to express sympathy or to commiserate with someone who has experienced an unfortunate or unlucky situation. For example:

  • Sam: If you break a mirror, you get seven years of BL.
  • Ali: If you break a condom, your BL will probably outlive you.
  • Toni: My car has been clamped. I'm going to have to walk home.
  • Jordan: BL! Can you pick up some dog food on your way past the grocery store?

Boy Love

image for BL showing two boys

In anime and manga, BL means "boy love" (also written as "boys love" and "boy's love"). it is a genre that centers on romantic and sometimes sexual relationships between male characters, primarily targeting a female audience. Originating in Japan, it has gained international popularity and encompasses various subgenres, from sweet and heartwarming stories to more explicit content.

BL often explores complex emotions, character development, and the challenges faced by same-sex couples in society. It provides a safe and imaginative space for readers to engage with themes of love, identity, and relationships. BL's appeal lies in its ability to transcend gender and sexual boundaries, offering a diverse range of narratives that resonate with a broad audience. While it can sometimes be criticized for reinforcing stereotypes, BL continues to evolve and diversify, fostering inclusive storytelling and promoting empathy and acceptance.

Bottom Line

image for BL showing a business results graph

BL also stands for "bottom line." In informal chat, "bottom line" is a phrase similar to "in summary" or "end result." It is often used to preface an amusing summary of a story of bad luck or unintended consequences. For example:

  • Lee: I accidentally ordered 10 full-size cherry blossom trees instead of 10 bonsai trees, and totally blew my credit card limit.
  • Cal: BL: You are now the proud owner of a Japanese cherry tree forest. You'll be able to charge people for visits.
  • Chris: My car has broken down and I can't afford to get it repaired. I'm going to have to walk to work.
  • Jo: BL: You're doing your bit for the environment and getting in a workout.
In business and financial contexts, "bottom line" represents the net profit or loss after all revenues and expenses have been accounted for in a financial statement, such as an income statement or profit and loss statement. It is a critical metric for assessing the financial health and performance of a company or organization.

Image for BL

When I write BL, I mean this:

meaning of BL

BL is used with a number of meanings.

Summary of Key Points

First Definition of BL

"Bad Luck" is the most common definition for BL on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Definition:Bad Luck
Guessability:guessability level 3
3: Guessable
Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

Second Definition of BL

"Boy Love" is a common definition for BL in anime and manga.
Definition:Boy Love
Guessability:guessability level 3
3: Guessable
Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

Third Definition of BL

BL also means "Bottom Line."
Definition:Bottom Line
Guessability:guessability level 3
3: Guessable
Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

An Academic Look at BL

BL is classified as an initialism abbreviation, as it is pronounced one letter at a time. Other examples of initialisms are AI ("Artificial Intelligence") and EW ("Electronic Warfare").

Initialisms are different to acronyms, which are abbreviations spoken as words (e.g., GOAT ("Greatest Of All Time"), NATO ("North Atlantic Treaty Organization").

Example of BL Used in a Text


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