P in sign language (ASL)

P in sign language

What is the letter P in sign language? There are different manual alphabets around the world.

P in ASL (American Sign Language)

How do you sign "P" in the ASL alphabet?

Meaning: The 16th letter of the English alphabet, a consonant.

Pronunciation (sign description): Tip of the dominant thumb is tucked inside the curve or web between the middle finger and forefinger while the ring finger and pinky are closed with the palm facing down. This handshape is held downward with the fingers pointing down in neutral space.

If you hold this handshape downside up, it becomes K. So, don't confuse P with the letter K or vice versa.

Vocabulary activity with P

What signed words can you sign with the "P/K" handshape? For a beginner, brainstorm as many words (or a few is fine, ha) as you can. For intermediate, make a quick list. Think quickly.

Possible answers

PINK, PURPLE, PARK (as in a relaxing green place), PRINCIPAL, PRINCIPLE, POLICY, PHILOSOPHY (variation), ...

Because this handshape is a marked handshape, which is not as natural as the other "unmarked" handshapes, such as "5", "1", flat hand, and a few others, a number of ASL signs with the "P/K" handshape are less than the signed words with the unmarked handshapes.

Around the World

If you're wondering what the letter P is in the two-handed BSL alphabet, here it is.

P in BSL alphabet
P in BSL

British Sign Language (BSL) is the language of deaf people in the U.K. Now you know that signed languages and manual alphabets are different around the world.

Related words

Previous letter: O and next letter Q.


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.]

How to write ASL for letter P

Written ASL digit for the alphabetical letter P. [Contributed by ASLwrite, 2019]

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.