BIG in sign language

The English word "big" is a little three-letter word, but there is a big number of ASL signs in American Sign Language (ASL). Plus, some signs can be inflected. They are not always interchangeable.

ASL signs for BIG

For a starter for beginners, this is a basic ASL word.

Meaning: Of considerable size, number, quantity, magnitude, or extent; large; huge.

Pronunciation (sign description): Two flat hands apart in neutral space, palms facing each other, briskly diverge from each other.

Usage/context examples: "my puppy grows bigger and bigger" (be sure to inflect the ASL sign for "bigger and bigger").

Pronunciation (sign description): Two "clawed-L" hands apart in neutral space, palms facing each other, diverge from each other.

Usage/context examples: "a big house in the country",

Pronunciation (sign description): Two "clawed-L" hands apart in neutral space, palms facing each other, diverge from each other in a slightly arc motion. Also means LARGE.

Usage/context examples: "a big decision".

Meaning: grown up.

Pronunciation (sign description): Dominant bent hand held in right-sided space at about the neck level moves in a slightly arc motion toward the higher space at about the head level.

Usage/context examples: "you're a big girl now".

Pronunciation (sign description): Dominant horizontal "big-G" or "clawed-L" handshape held in space with a firm movement.

Usage/context examples: "you should write April with a big 'a'" (capital).

Here are some other signs and/or classifiers for other phrases other than the ASL words above.

Use classifiers for such these phrases as: "big hazel eyes", "a big toe".

Use verb inflections for such phrases with no "BIG" in ASL translations as: "She's always been a big spender" meaning "she has always spent a lot of money" (glossed in ASL as "IX1 ALWAYS TEND-ma 2h-SPEND++th").

Meaning: older or more like an adult. "Her big (= older) sister/brother teased her so much". Use OLDER in ASL.

In English, "big" is sometimes used to mean "to be important or famous or popular", use IMPORTANT, FAMOUS, or POPULAR.



Opposite: SMALL, LITTLE.

First 100 words.

  1. again
  2. also
  3. ask
  4. bad
  5. boy
  6. but
  7. can
  8. come
  9. deaf
  10. different
  11. drink
  12. drive
  13. eat
  14. email
  15. excuse
  16. family
  17. feel
  18. few
  19. find
  20. fine
  21. fingerspell
  22. finish
  23. food
  24. for
  25. forget
  26. friend
  27. get
  28. girl
  29. give
  30. go
  31. good
  32. have, has, had
  33. he
  34. hearing
  35. hello
  36. help
  37. home
  38. how
  39. Internet
  40. know
  41. later
  42. like (feeling)
  43. little
  44. live
  45. man
  46. many
  47. me
  48. meet
  49. more
  50. my
  51. name
  52. need
  53. new
  54. no
  55. not
  56. now
  57. ok, okay
  58. old
  59. other
  60. please
  61. remember
  62. same
  63. say
  64. school
  65. see
  66. she
  67. should
  68. sign, signed word
  69. slow
  70. some
  71. sorry
  72. store
  73. take
  74. tell
  75. text, sms
  76. thank, thank you
  77. their
  78. they
  79. think
  80. time
  81. tired
  82. try
  83. understand
  84. use
  85. wait
  86. want
  87. what
  88. when
  89. where
  90. which
  91. who
  92. why
  93. will
  94. with
  95. woman
  96. work
  97. write
  98. yes
  99. you
  100. your

As you feel more comfortable with the first few hundreds of ASL signs, progress further with your vocabulary and learn signing more.