Signs for BACKDROP

Definition: A painted cloth hung at the back of a theater stage as part of the scenery.




Deaf Culture and tidbits

The Catty Show: Anecdote

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the university officially announced a move from in-class delivery to online delivery immediately during the weekend. I worked hard on the transition over the weekend and Monday (classes cancelled across the university). On the first day of live class delivery on Tuesday within about 5 minutes, Kibe (the Handspeak mascot/supervisor/cat) sat on a small table behind me looking at the black backdrop behind me. As I talked in ASL to my students on the screen, I could see myself and the cat behind me on my monitor. Suddenly, everyone gasped as the cat jumped high. In slow motion of this two-second incident, she intended to land on the horizontal bar but the bar wasn't strong enough to boost her. As she landed on the bar, the pole on one end pulled down and the bar tilted. The cat tried to grab with her paws as she was falling down. She landed on her feet and ran out. The class laughed hard. Regretfully, there was no video recording through the webcam. -- Jolanta, March 2020.

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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.

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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.