WORD in sign language

ASL sign for WORD

ASL sign for "word"

How to sign "word" in American Sign Language (ASL)?

Definition: A sign, character, or sound or combination of language units that has a meaning and is signed, spoken, or written; a symbol or meaning.

Pronunciation (sign description): Dominant upright "clawed-L" handshape in front of non-dominant upright index finger, both palms facing each other in neutral space, fingertips of forefinger and thumb of dominant hand tap twice on non-dominant forefinger. The dominant handshape can be somewhere between the horizontal "G" handshape and "clawed-L".

Beyond basics

Emerged in circa 2010s; used as a (pronoun-like) classifier in sentences.

Plural sign for "words".

Meaning: a big and/or hard word.

Pluralization: Dominant "Y" hand is repeated once more. Sometimes multiple with modified location and a "pp" mouth morpheme used by Deaf signers to indicate a lot of big/hard words.


Other related signs: SIGN (as in signed word), CHARACTER (as in Asian writing), IDIOM, EXPRESSION, LOANWORD that one borrows a new word from another language, GLOSS that transliterates a word rather than translates it, JARGON, PHRASE, SLANG, sesquipedalian which speaks for itself, KEYWORD, PASSWORD, SYMBOL.

Words that you look up in or practice a set of words: GLOSSARY, DICTIONARY that you look up a word in a big wordbook, LEXICON, THESAURUS, TERMINOLOGY, VOCABULARY, WORDBOOK.

Words to play with or to be creative with: CROSSWORD, NONCE which is a word you invent and use only once that can be understood, WORDSMITH.


Get more with the PatronPlus subscription to unlock the premium content and more features, including ad-free for clean and fast page loading. Already a subscriber? Login.

Written ASL

[Note: ASL writing is not an official standard. This sign language writing remains in a state of open space to allow room for experiment, evolution, and improvement.]

ASL written for WORD

Written ASL digit for "WORD" (variation).

Written ASL digits contributed by the ASLwrite community, 2018.

~~ Feeling lucky? ¯\(°_o)/¯ Random word ~~