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
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? :)
First 100 words.
As you feel more comfortable with the first few hundreds of ASL signs, progress further with your vocabulary and learn signing more.