# What does QSL mean in a CW conversation?

When the other party sends QSL, do they just want to know whether I received the previous message and expect RR or AGN? Or, are they asking for a QSL Card to be sent to them?

Generally, QSL means "I acknowledge receipt".

"QSL?" (with a question mark) means "please acknowledge".

Sometimes when listening to QSOs you will hear someone say QSL VIA BURO or QSL DIRECT or similar, and those are instructions on how to send a QSL card. But QSL on its own just means "acknowledged".

Finally, if someone says PSE QSL then that usually means that they would like a QSL card.

Especially true in a contest, or noisy environment:

Hearing a "QSL?" from someone can mean they want to know specifically if what they've sent to you has been sent correctly. They may have been trying to pull your callsign out of the QRN or QRM and want to ONLY hear back from you a "QSL" or "R" so they can confidently log your call. If you hear correct information (say, your call) followed by a QSL? absolutely DO NOT SEND YOUR INFORMATION AGAIN. Doing so is a tacit indication that they DO NOT have the information correct. And, yes, QSL is often used on phone regardless of what the purists might advise!

HIM CQ CQ

YOU W1^%& (as heard by HIM)

HIM W1? AGN?

YOU *&ABC (as heard by HIM)

HIM W1ABC QSL QSL??

YOU QSL QSL QSL