Asking for a Friend
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"Asking for a Friend" is an expression often used as a sarcastic quip when asking embarrassing or awkward questions, indicating that the subject is so shameful it must be asked under the guise of a helpful friend.
While the origin of the quip is unknown. On May 14th, 1996, rec.motorcycles user Andy the Pugh jokingly claimed to be "asking for a friend" when asking about how to straighten fork legs on a motorcycle (shown below).
On March 1st, 2001, AnandTech Forums member Spoooon submitted a thread titled "Will photo places develop 'dirty pictures?", in which he jokingly claimed to be "asking for a friend" (shown below).
In 2010, a Yahoo Answers question asking "Does a cat know when you're masturbating? I'm asking for a friend?" was submitted to the site. In December 2012, the Asking For A Friend Tumblr blog was launched, featuring image macros captioned with embarrassing questions and the phrase "asking for a friend" (shown below).
In November 2013, the Asking For a Friend Twitter feed was launched, featuring various bizarre questions followed by the statement "asking for a friend."
On April 2nd, 2014, Mashable published a listicle titled "31 People Who Are NOT Asking For a Friend."
On August 12th, StackExchange user ellyahu-g submitted a question asking if there was a term for the practice of saying you are "asking for a friend" when asking a question for yourself. On September 16th, the internet humor site Elite Daily published a listicle of "46 questions you would never ask for yourself."
On November 3rd, 2015, Urban Dictionary user Ash1355 submitted an entry for "asking for a friend," defining it as a phrase used by someone who claims "to be asking for a friend, when they are in fact asking for themselves."
 Urban Dictionary – asking for a friend
 Stackexchange – Term for someone asking for a friend
 Twitter – @AskingFriend
 Mashable – 31 People Who Are NOT Asking for a Friend
 Google Groups – rec.motorcycles
 AnandTech – Will photo place develop dirty pictures
 Yahoo Answers – Does a cat know you're masturbating
 Tumblr – Asking For a Friend
 Elite Daily – 46 Questions You Would Never Ask For Yourself
Sep 24, 2016 at 04:16PM EDT
Sep 24, 2016 at 07:04PM EDT
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