"Good" in sign language

Printable ASL for GOOD
Printable

How do you sign "good" in ASL?

Meaning: To be desired or approved of; very satisfactory, enjoyable, pleasant, or interesting.

Pronunciation (sign description): Dominant flat hand (handshape), palm in (orientation), fingers in contact with the chin (location), move forward away from the chin (movement).

Learner tip: Don't confuse this similar signword with "THANK". The homophones GOOD and THANK look similar, but with subtle nuances, they are different.

Possible usage examples with "good" in ASL are, for example, "good experience", "good morning", "good job", "a good movie", "a good time", and so on. You know it's a very common word. Good thing it's not that hard to use.

Related signs: FINE, OKAY, GREAT.

Opposite: BAD.

Cross-cultural anecdote: a nice hat!

January 2008: A feisty, American young Deaf man, who worked as a ASL language instructor for a year in Tokyo, Japan, told me an incident in Japan where I stayed there for a few months. Here is his funny story in January 2008.

good gesture
"F-GOOD" gesture

One day, he saw a Japanese elderly woman who wore a fine, beautiful cartwheel or floppy hat. He genuinely wanted to compliment her, so he warmly approached her and gestured -- pointed to her hat and gestured F-GOOD (see the image above). The frail elder at first looked confused. Again, he pointed to her hat and gestured F-good! The lady looked aghast and rushed away. The American guy stood there, scratching his head. To that story, he still didn't figure it out but I burst out laughing with tears.

I explained to him that this F-handshape gesture is apparently associated with money in Japan and I could imagine how the old lady interpreted the guy's gestures, "Wow, look how expensive this hat must be". This old, traditionally conservative lady must be feeling intimidated by the high-spirited young American man talking about money. Hearing this explanation, the American guy suddenly looked illuminated. He then sincerely felt so bad, so bad for her (and for himself, ha).

Usage/Grammar

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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 written for GOOD

ASL written for "THANK-YOU" by Todd Hicks, 2017.

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