FIRST in sign language

The ASL signword "first" can be expressed in several ways in American Sign Language.

ASL signs for "first"

The first two signs or videos are used in different contexts. They are not interchangeable in some contexts, yet they may be interchangeable in other few contexts.

Meaning: Being before all others with respect to time, order, rank, importance, earliest, etc., used as the ordinal number of one; 1st.

Pronunciation (sign description): Dominant index finger swings toward the thumb of the non-dominant "10" or thumb-up hand where the upper finger stops at the upper thumb of the passive hand.

Usage/context examples: "the first time I met him", ""

Contextual variation.

Pronunciation (sign description): Dominant upright forefinger twists in neutral space where the palm orientation ends in front of the signer.

Usage/context examples: "I met him for the first time, never before", "Is she your second kid? No, it's my first child."

Meaning (first place): In the first place in sports, competitions, contests, etc.

Pronunciation (sign description): Dominant horizontal index finger with palm toward the signer briskly moves backward.

Usage example: "the first prize goes to Leroy, the second prize goes to Barbara..."

Related signs

Related signs: FIRSTLY, FIRST.

Opposite: LAST.

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