Signs for TAPE

And a funny, teachable-moment anecdote at the end below.

Definition: A narrow strip of material, typically used to hold or fasten something.

Learner tip: Don't confuse this sign with DEPOSIT.

Variation, uncommon usage.

Learner tip: Don't confuse this sign with BANDAGE.

Deaf Culture and tidbits

Memorable Anecdote: a zap story

One day, I observed a witty Deaf ASL teacher in the beginners ASL course (grade 10) on the first day at a high school. As the Deaf teacher talked about syllabus and such in ASL with English translation through an interpreter, she talked about 'no voice policy' in ASL classes.

At that moment, one of the high school hearing students vocally spoke jokingly to his classmates, something like "She cannot hear us anyway." The good-natured teacher noticed him while the interpreter heard him enough to interpret what the student said.

The teacher paused her lecture. The whole class became silent. Then, she pulled out her desk drawer in front of her, and took out a couple of the items -- a gray duct tape and scissors.

The teacher walked across the classroom and presented the items on the male teenager's desk; all the classmates' eyeballs were drawn to him. Some classmates giggled, some were puzzled. Some curious.

The male student stared at the items, not understanding what to do with them. Ok, the teacher demonstrated, pulling the duct tape and cutting a piece of it, and offered it to him. He sat still, kind of confused or unsure. More classmates' giggles.

The teacher gestured to convey, "It's for covering your lips." The students burst into laughter. The teacher gave him the message in gesture -- something like "I heard you" and returned to her lecture. This small act was a form of resistance against everyday audist microaggression. Don't mess with her. :)

Feeling lucky? Random word

Basic word starters: hello / learn / ASL / sign language / alphabet / love / I love you / please / thank you / welcome...

Search Tips and Pointers

Search/Filter: Enter a keyword in the filter/search box to see a list of available words with the "All" selection. Click on the page number if needed. Click on the blue link to look up the word. For best result, enter a partial word to see variations of the word.

Screenshot of dictionary search with notes
Screenshot of the search dictionary

Alphabetical letters: It's useful for 1) a single-letter word (such as A, B, etc.) and 2) very short words (e.g. "to", "he", etc.) to narrow down the words and pages in the list.

For best result, enter a short word in the search box, then select the alphetical letter (and page number if needed), and click on the blue link.

Screenshot of dictionary search with notes
Screenshot of the search dictionary

Don't forget to click "All" back when you search another word with a different initial letter.

If you cannot find (perhaps overlook) a word but you can still see a list of links, then keep looking until the links disappear! Sharpening your eye or maybe refine your alphabetical index skill. :)

Add a Word: This dictionary is not exhaustive; ASL signs are constantly added to the dictionary. If you don't find a word/sign, you can send your request (only if a single link doesn't show in the result).

Videos: The first video may be NOT the answer you're looking for. There are several signs for different meanings, contexts, and/or variations. Browsing all the way down to the next search box is highly recommended.

Video speed: Signing too fast in the videos? See HELP in the footer.

ASL has its own grammar and structure in sentences that works differently from English. For plurals, verb inflections, word order, etc., learn grammar in the "ASL Learn" section. For search in the dictionary, use the present-time verbs and base words. If you look for "said", look up the word "say". Likewise, if you look for an adjective word, try the noun or vice versa. E.g. The ASL signs for French and France are the same. If you look for a plural word, use a singular word.