Grammar Monster
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Meaning of AO


What Does AO Mean?

AO means "Adults Only". The abbreviation AO usually indicates that only people deemed to be adults may do something, such as buy a product, attend an event, or view a movie or show.

Of note, in a military context, AO means "Area of Operation".
Summary of Key Points

Definition for AO

AO means "Adults Only". This is the most common definition for AO on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter. Here is some more information about AO:

AO
Definition:Adults Only
Type:Abbreviation
Guessability:
4: Difficult to guess
Typical Users:
Adults
An Image for AO
When I write AO, I mean this:

meaning of AO
The abbreviation AO means adults only.
More...

Examples of AO in Sentences

Here are examples of AO being used in conversations:
  • Martha: Take your little brother to the cinema with you.
  • Ryan: I would, but it's AO.
  • Simon: Are you going to Patrick and Sharon's wedding?
  • David: Only if we can get a babysitter. It's AO.

An Academic Look at AO

As it is pronounced using its individual letters (i.e., "Aay Oh"), the abbreviation AO is classified as an initialism abbreviation. Initialisms are different to acronyms, which are spoken like words.

The phrase "Adults Only" is used like an adjective. Adjectives are describing words which are used either before or after a noun (or a pronoun) to modify its meaning.

What Did We Used To Say?

Before the digital era, we would have just said "Adults Only" instead of using the abbreviation AO.

A Text with AO

Using AO on a Cell Phone (SMS Texts, Whatsapp, and Yubl)

 
AO
 

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