W in sign language

Meaning: The 23rd letter of the English alphabet, a consonant.

Pronunciation (sign description): The tips of thumb and pinky are in contact while the three middle fingers are upright with the palm facing outward.

Previous letter: V and next letter X.

Q: "By the way, how do you know the difference between "6" and "W"?

A: Honestly, as a native signer, I have never thought of these homophones and many other pairs of homophones until they are brought up by learners (a new persepctive for us). It's all about contexts and language use.

Vocabulary booster activity with the "W" handshape

For a beginner level and beyond with at least 50 words, can you come up with as many ASL signs that starts with the "W" or "6" handshape as possible? Its variant can be "claw-6" or "flexed-6". For example, WATER.

Remember the handshape is based on the dominant hand only, no matter if the signs are one-handed or two-handed.

Possible answers

Glosses: Letter "W" (ha), WEIRD, WITNESS (variation), number 6 (ha), WHISKERS (kind of classifier), ...

Struggle? So far, have you got a very few words, even including the letter and the number (ha)? Know why?

The W/Y handshape is one of several "marked" handshapes that are not natural. Most of the handshapes are "unmarked" handshapes that are natural. That's how the brain processing (phonetics?) works.

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 W

Written ASL digit for the alphabetical letter W. [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.