BOIL in sign language

You turn on the stove to start boiling a pot of water. Which is the louder -- simmering or boiling?

ASL signs for BOIL

Meaning: To subject (something) to the heat of boiling liquid, in particular.

The temperature at which a liquid bubbles and turns to vapor.

Related signs: SIMMER, COOK.

Cross-cultural anecdote I

There were several times when the busy Deaf mom asked her coda in ASL, translated as "Please let me know when the hot water is boiling." The coda nodded and went on her reading a book.

One day, the water in a pot boiled for a bit while. The Deaf mom asked her 9-year-old coda "Don't you hear the water boiling and boiling? How is that so?"

The kid shook her head. Mom scratched her head, "Really? Honestly?" The kid asserted that she didn't hear, "It's quiet." Quiet? Are you kidding?

Mom doubtfully looked at the coda, "Sure? You couldn't hear the water boiling loudly. Yet, you could hear me unwrapping my secret chocolate and you suddenly showed up." -- Handspeak, 2020

Cross-cultural anecdote II

Over the period of time when the coda was 11, the same Deaf mom noticed the patterns. Every time a pot of water boiled there were large, busy bubbles bursting out at the top surface, her coda didn't report or claimed not to hear it. But, every time she did exclaim a warning, "really very loud bubbles!", the mom opened the lid and looked, "Well, it's not boiling yet. It's only simmering with a teeny tiny bubbles at the bottom."

After several patterns, the mom posed a question, "Does simmering make much louder than boiling?" The coda didn't know. She googled, sure enough. Yes.

To a Deaf eye, the water is visibly more agitative at the boiling point, but to ear, the sound is subdued.

ASL Storytelling

A fable translated in American Sign Language (ASL).

See English text for ASL beginners.

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.