FATHER in sign language

How do you say 'father' in American Sign Language? There are two common variations which can be interchangeable in some contexts and which are not interchangeable in other contexts.

Definition: A man in relation to his natural child or children; dad; male parent.

Pronunciation (sign description): Thumb of dominant "5" hand near the side of upper head or side of forehead taps twice on it. The palm is loosely facing left if right-handed. The thumb tapping on the middle of the forehead is a mispronunciation, at least in formal citation. But, not when a native signers or deaf people use it in informal register (e.g. mumbling).

Usage examples: "my father" in general, "dad".

[video later]

Variation: Same as above except for the movement. Fingers of the dominant "5" hand with the thumb on the side of the deaf wiggle.

Usage examples: also "my father" in general, "my godfather" (GOD+FATHER as a ASL compound word).

Another variation (least common): Dominant horizontal "A" handshape with the thumb on the side of upper head/forehead and palm facing loosely outward/left moves a bit outward while opening the hand into "5" handshape.

Usage examples: "heavenly father" (sometimes two-handed), "the father of [something]". E.g. Dr. William Stokoe is the father of sign language linguistics. But, one can also sign (what is glossed as) "FIRST INVENT", "FIRST DISCOVER/FIND" or "FIRST FOUND/ESTABLISH".

Related signs

Is there a version of the ASL sign/word for DADDY? How do you say FATHER-IN-LAW, FATHER's DAY, GRANDFATHER, STEPFATHER, FAMILY?

Opposite: MOTHER, SON.

Father's Day

How to sign "Father's Day"

First 100 words.

  1. again
  2. also
  3. ask
  4. because
  5. boy
  6. but
  7. can
  8. come
  9. condone
  10. deaf
  11. different
  12. drink
  13. drive
  14. eat
  15. email
  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
  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.