GIRL in sign language

Printable ASL sign for GIRL

ASL sign for GIRL

How do you say 'girl' in American Sign Language?

Definition: A female child; a young or relatively young woman.

Pronunciation/articulation: Dominant "10" hand (handshape), palm facing left if right-handed (orientation), thumb on the cheek (location), stroke down the cheek twice (movement).

Learner tip: Don't confuse this sign GIRL with AUNT (a slightly different orientation).

Etymology: A possible origin of this sign: "A sign borrowed from French sign language in the olden days when girls wore bonnets as part of their standard school uniform. The sign represents one of the ribbons of the bonnet that ties under the chin. Perhaps the original sign used both A hand shape to mime tying a bow under the chin?" -- Lyn J. Wiley (via email, May 2015).

Related signs: WOMAN, CHILD, KID

Opposite: BOY.

Baby Signing 'girl'

Watch a short video clip of the bilingual ASL-speaking toddler signing "girl" in language acquisition in ASL.

The ASL word "GIRL" appears to be one of the easiest words to produce for toddlers because of the unmarked handshape as well as the movement and location.

But, don't be fooled. In early language acquisition, the thumb is not maniuplated well in sign language until later. Notice that the toddler used the area of the fingers rather than the thumb.

Another thing, during the first year or two, the baby or toddler may be right-handed and left-handed indiscriminately until later.

Ha, she was peeking through the fence. Now, our one-year-old Fritzy the cat was doing the same. I'd say "naïve curiosity" rather than "spy", right? :)

Language learning, language play, etc.

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Some word entries have one of some tidbits in this section, such as minimal pairs of sign words, rhymes, etc. usually related to or associated with its word entry.

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.]

ASL writing for GIRL

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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.