Solved! So This Is What The Letters In ASOS Really Stand For

It's not Ah-sos. Or A-S-O-S. It's actually an abbreviation - who knew?!

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Like Tesco or TK Maxx, ASOS is one of those odd brand names that we simply forget to question because we’ve heard it so often.

But is it A-S-O-S? Or Ay-Sos? Or perhaps, as it’s often written as ‘Asos,’ it’s some odd word from Greek folklore referring to the Goddess of Style?

Nope, not quite. The UK-based online shopping brand, which turns 17 this year, started out with a very different – and much longer – name. Turns out, ASOS is actually an abbreviation for ‘As Seen On Screen.’

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That bombshell comes courtesy of Popsugar, but further investigation on the ASOS site reveals some more background into the name’s origins – most notably that the site originally started as a place to get dupes of celebrity dresses.

“The idea of ASOS started in 1999 when founders Quentin Griffiths and Nick Robertson had the idea of starting an internet business where people could find clothes or accessories they had seen celebs wearing,” the site’s ASOS Story page reveals.

“A website was registered in August 1999 and went live in March 2000.”

However the company was “almost immediately” referred to as ASOS, as it was more convenient. Within six months, the company had also purchased the domain name, though at that stage it still redirected users to


By 2002, the abbreviated name was being used almost everywhere the brand was mentioned – on company stationery, on the website, in email addresses and in marketing information. Finally, by 2003, the company name was officially changed to ASOS, both online and in its shareholding details.

So there you have it. While ASOS is now much more than a place to get celebrity knock-offs – there are 1,500 new product lines introduced each week – its name is still a nod to its humble origins.