CURRENTLY STILL A WORK IN PROGRESS
created by phillip potamites
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sign to english dictionary

arranged by
hand shape, location, orientation, and movement
of dominant and subordinate hands

(head, ..., waist, ?), (palm up, down, in, out, tips ..., ?)

as most students should know,
most signs can be repeated for clarity, emphasis, or plurality,
also done with both hands to intensify,
or repeated to derive nouns from verbs.
=d.H = same as dominant hand
s.H = touching subordinate hand (F=finger(s), T=thumb, P=palm, A=arm, E=elbow)

(see below the table for further notational explanations (esp. hand shapes))

dom.Hand sub.Hand meaning
shape location, orientation movement shape location, orientation movement
a forehead, palm in knock forehead stupid
a forehead down to s.H =d.H remember
a cheek, palm in rub forward & back daily
a jawline, palm in down towards chin girl
(+baby=daughter)
a jawline, palm in forward out tomorrow
a jawline, palm in back won't
a lips tap secret
a under chin, thumb in push out to thumb up not
a upper chest, palm in down =d.H =d.H =d.H coat
a chest, palm in up =d.H =d.H =d.H address
a chest, palm in circle across and down sorry
a cross s.A, palm in =d.H =d.H love
a cross s.A, palm in turn arms out =d.H =d.H =d.H safe
a s.H, thumb up push forward away from s.H =d.H =d.H far
a on s.P, thumb up up palm up lift d.H help
a knuckles to s.K, palm intap s.K =d.H =d.H =d.H game
a palm down push forward =d.H =d.H =d.H continue
a palm in move up past s.H =d.H =d.H most
a palm in brush up back of s.H =d.H =d.H dangerous
a knuckles out turn palm up other
a knuckles out rub s.Index F. b palm in practice
a knuckles out up & down =d.H =d.H alt. d.H doubt
a thumb up to s.H =d.H =d.H =d.H with
a thumb up push forward (and up) =d.H =d.H =d.H try/attempt
a thumb up pull to thumb back won't/refuse
a thumb up follow s.H forward/side =d.H =d.H push follow
a thumb down circle in sideways =d.H =d.H alt. d.H science
b under lips, palm down push across lie
b palm out back & forth across s.H. palm down/in busy
b tips up wave out, in, & down never
b tips up wave in & out =d.H =d.H =d.H trouble
c face, tips up flip palm down strange/odd
c chin, palm in/down down old
c chest, palm in down hungry
c chest side, thumb in police
c fingers up push & pull =d.H =d.H alt. d.H communicate
c fingers up turn to palm down 1 pointing at d.H keep pointing at d.H force
cx thumb side up/tips out push & pull =d.H =d.H alt. d.H control/manage/direct
d under lips, palm down push across lie
d tips up tap s.F =d.H =d.H =d.H dessert
e facing s.P, palm outswing to palm in =d.H =d.H, palm in alt. d.H evolve
f temple loop out fantasy
f neck pinch skin & wiggle curious
f s.H, palm down pinch s.H between thumb & metacarp1 palm in meat
f s.H, palm out swing out, twist to palm in, s.H =d.H =d.H =d.H family
f s.H, tips out swing up, twist to palm down, s.H =d.H =d.H =d.H important
f s.P, palm down out to s.F palm up count
f tips to s.F tips tap =d.H =d.H =d.H cost/value
worth/price
f tips to s.F tips twist to palm in =d.H =d.H (alt. d.H) interpret/translate
f tips to s.F tips twist to palm in =d.H =d.H alt. d.H free/safe
f tips to s.F tips pull, twist,
& pull again
=d.H =d.H alt. d.H (tell a) story
f on s.Index move to s.Mid F. v tips up choose/choice
f palm down shake pepper
f palm out shake if
f tips up hit thumb side to s.P tips up flunk
f thumb side up/tips out push forward =d.H =d.H =d.H postpone/procrastinate
f thumb side up/tips out circle push & pull =d.H =d.H alt. d.H exchange/switch/trade
f thumb side up/tips out push & pull =d.H =d.H alt. d.H describe/explain
f thumb side up/tips out up & down =d.H =d.H alt. d.H judge
g mouth, tips forward pinch bird/chicken
g mouth, tips down pinch turkey
g chest opposite side, thumb in guilty
h nose across/down nose fun
h nose across/down nose to s.F =d.H palm down funny
h lips, palm in out to palm up =d.H =d.H =d.H innocent/naive
h s.P, palm down push to s.F palm up honest
h tips to s.P, palm down tap & pull palm up butter
h on s.F, palm down tap s.F =d.H =d.H sit/chair
h on s.F, palm in twist tips down =d.H =d.H =d.H egg
h s.T, palm down pull away s.T c thumb in quit
h palm down hook over s.T c thumb in join
h palm in tap s.F =d.H =d.H name
h palm in circle around & tap s.F =d.H =d.H about
h point forward twist to palm down, tap s.F =d.H palm down increase
h point forward up & down =d.H =d.H =d.H hunt
h point forward up & down =d.H =d.H alt. d.H hurry/rush
i temple out idea
i lip commissure, palm outtwist palm in jealous
i point up chop across s.F =d.H point out last/final/end
l thumb to chin tap lunch
l thumb to chin curl index to x who
l thumb to chin turn index sideways lemon
l opposite shoulder, palm inpat lazy
l chest, palm in up =d.H =d.H =d.H live/life
l in front of s.H tap s.F and s.P palm out, tips up law
l in front of s.H hit s.P tips up forbid/illegal/prohibit
l thumb on s.P, point up turn a little forward tips up (little) later
l thumb to s.T, palm downwiggle out =d.H =d.H =d.H language
l thumb to s.T, point up forward & out, curl to tx =d.H =d.H =d.H check (bill)
l palm in up =d.H =d.H =d.H life
l point up to point forward later/future
m facing s.P, palm outswing to palm in =d.H =d.H, palm in alt. d.H modify
m palm down tap wrist (pulse) palm up doctor
m s.P move up s.F tips up mature
n over s.H circle & tap back of s.H a palm down nation(al)
n palm down tap wrist (pulse) palm up nurse
o chin down old
flat-o forehead, palm in pull out to 5 palm up =d.H chest, =d.H =d.H inform
flat-o temple, palm down out =d.H =d.H =d.H teach
flat-o nose, palm in tap both nostrils flower
flat-o mouth, palm in tap food/eat
(+night=dinner)
flat-o jawline, palm in up towards ear home
(+work=homework)
flat-o tips on back of s.H, palm down push forward across s.H & off to 5 s palm down influence/affect
flat-o in s.P, palm down move out over s.F & away from s.H palm up buy
flat-o tips to s.F tips, palm downtap s.F tips =d.H =d.H =d.H more
flat-o tips to s.F tips, palm down(flatten) out & down =d.H =d.H =d.H none
flat-o tips to s.F tips, palm outtwist to palm in =d.H =d.H alt. d.H numbers
flat-o palm up move down into s.H palm up money
flat-o palm down flick up to palm out =d.H =d.H =d.H sell
flat-o palm in, tips up forward to palm up give
flat-o knuckles up turn down knuckles out none
flat-o tips up in s.H push up out of s.H to 5 c/o thumb up plant
flat-o push into s.H c/o save($)
p forehead to chin parents
p circle forward =d.H =d.H alt d.H people
p circle to s.F =d.H perfect
r temple circle reason
r nose down to s.P palm up research
r in front of s.H tap s.F and s.P palm out, tips up rule
r palm in slide out over s.H & then down =d.H =d.H result
s temple to 1 understand
s temple to 1 =d.H =d.H =d.H surprise
s chin down to 5 palm down nothing
s palm up open up to 5 =d.H =d.H =d.H (how) many
s palm down tap back of s.H =d.H =d.H job/work
s palm down (flip) down =d.H =d.H =d.H can
s palm down tap s.H, s.T to s.T =d.H =d.H =d.H shoes
s palm in circle around & then land on s.H =d.H =d.H (1) year
s palm in hit s.K =d.H =d.H =d.H accident/collide
s palm in hit s.F 1 point up hit
t thumb up push forward =d.H =d.H =d.H try/attempt
tx on s.P wiggle out across s.P palm up write
tx facing s.P, palm out swing to palm in =d.H =d.H, palm in alt. d.H change
tx up, thumb in wave/circle =d.H =d.H alt. d.H celebrate/festival
victory/anniversary
u over s.H, palm out circle =d.H palm down use/wear
v under s.A, palm in pull away from s.E to double-x s across chest, palm down steal
v in front of s.H tap back of s.H s thumb up, palm in save/preserve
v palm facing s.H pull in across s.H =d.H =d.H =d.H careless
v point at s.P down palm up/in read
v tips on s.P, palm out twist palm in thumb up purpose
v palm up slid out off s.F palm up fail
v palm down tap s.H =d.H palm up sex
v palm down tap s.P palm up lose
v palm down tap s.F =d.H =d.H salt
v palm in tap s.H =d.H =d.H take care
w cheek, palm in circle wine
w chin, thumb in tap water
x cheek, palm out twist palm in apple
x cheek, palm in rub forward & back recently
x cheek, palm out rub up & down rubber/plastic
x mouth tap teeth glass
x lip commissure, palm outtwist palm in jealous
x under chin rub forward & back metal
x s.P rub down s.P tips out price/cost/tax
x palm down up & down should
x hook s.F palm out turn palm in & rehook =d.H =d.H alt. d.H friend
x hook s.T, thumb up drag forward l thumb up forward (to x?)run
x thumb up push & pull =d.H =d.H =d.H urge/persuade
x thumb up hit over s.T & out =d.H =d.H ruin
double-xnose, palm in wiggle doubt
double-xnose hook on nose strict
double-xmouth out to palm out snake
double-xs.F, palm in up & down =d.H =d.H alt. d.H difficult
double-xs.F, palm in twist =d.H =d.H alt. d.H problem
double-xover s.H, palm in hit back of s.H =d.H palm down hard
y cheek, palm out twist back yesterday
y chin, palm in tap chin wrong
y under s.A, palm in circle against s.E a across chest, palm down/in country
y d.T-s.T, palm down tap Ts =d.H =d.H =d.H measure
y d.T-s.T, palm down forward & down =d.H =d.H stay
y palm up down =d.H =d.H =d.H now/today
y palm down direct between subjects same/also
y palm in push out turning palm down =d.H =d.H =d.H yet/still
1 forehead, palm down pull across forehead black
1 forehead, palm down pull across forehead into x summer
1 temple mind
1 temple up&out smart
1 temple circle forward think
1 temple wiggle out to x palm in dream
1 temple to f down =d.H decide
1 temple down to s.H =d.H palm down agree
1 nose, palm down pull across nose into x ugly
1 nose, point up push across nose (twice) mouse
1 nose/mouth, point up push across nose/mouth false
1 nostril, palm out twist palm in boring
1 lips, point up out true/real
1 lips, point up circle forward lonely
1 lips, point up out to b, arm striking s.H palm down promise/swear
commit/pledge
1 lips, palm out push out to palm down =d.H =d.H answer
1 lip commissure, palm inloop/bounce out =d.H =d.H =d.H famous
1 lip commissure, palm outtwist palm in candy/jealous
1 under lips, palm down circle forward hearing
1 under lips, palm down pull across under lips into x dry
1 jawline, palm in up/down towards ear/lips deaf
1 chin, palm in/down poke disappointed
1 chin, palm in/down twist sour/bitter
1 chin, palm in/down pull out to palm up tell
1 under chin, palm in/downdown throat thirsty
1 s.E down off s.E s up punish(ment)
1 cross s.H tap s.H =d.H =d.H right/regular/standard
1 thumb on s.H, point up turn a little forward tips up (1) minute
1 thumb on s.H, point up circle forward tips up (1) hour
1 palm on s.P, palm down brush out over s.P palm up (1) week
1 tip on s.P, palm down poke s.P palm up owe/debt/obligation
1 point down into s.P flick out palm up pay
1 point to s.P direct to Ind.object tips up =d.H show
1 towards s.P circle bouncing tip on s.P tips out sometimes
1 cross s.F out =d.H =d.H =d.H different
1 between s.Index&Mid F. twist 5 start
1 at s.F, palm down brush down s.Index =d.H point up (1) month
(repetitively=rent)
1 on s.F, palm down down =d.H under d.H, =d.H =d.H depend
1 palm down in&out =d.H =d.H alt. d.H socks
1 palm down circle to s.Index =d.H palm in when
1 palm in, point up circle in&out always/someone/alone
1 palm out, point up wave sideways where
1 palm in up&down =d.H =d.H alt. d.H argue
1 palm in tap s.P palm up discuss/debate/argue
1 palm in twist =d.H =d.H alt. d.H hurt/pain
1 palm in circle around s.H flat-o palm in/down about
1 point up tap s.P tips up warn/alarm/signal
1 point up forward point out =d.H =d.H =d.H go
1 point up tap s.H (radial edge) =d.H =d.H =d.H meet
1 point up circle up & in =d.H =d.H alt. d.H sign
1 point up out to x ask
1 point up down to s.E across chest/under d.E, palm downday
1 point out curve out, in, & dot (with mid F.) question
1 point out twist up in & down =d.H =d.H =d.H come
1 point out pull up to x thumb in =d.H =d.H =d.H fast
3 nose, tips up curl fingers bug/ant
3 palm down, tips out curl fingers =d.H =d.H =d.H selfish
3 palm down, tips out push & pull =d.H =d.H alt. d.H walk
5 face, palm in pull out to flat-o leave/go away/gone/sleep
5 face, palm in circle & pull out to flat-o beautiful
5 face, palm in circle (up & out) =d.H =d.H alt. d.H embarrassed
5 face, palm in down =d.H =d.H =d.H sad
5 forehead, thumb in father
(skip out=grandfather)
5 forehead, thumb in to chest man
5 forehead, thumb in clap into s.P palm up husband
5 cheek pull close to flat-o experience
5 chin, thumb in mother
(skip out=grandmother)
5 chin, thumb in to chest woman
5 chin, thumb in clap into s.P palm up wife
5 shoulders, palm in wave up =d.H =d.H =d.H happy/cheerful/friendly
5 shoulders, thumb in tap =d.H =d.H =d.H vacation/free time/idle
retire/loaf
5 chest, thumb in fine
5 chest, thumb in tap & up polite
5 over s.H, palm out wave palm in/down movie
5 tips on s.P, palm down collapse into s.P palm up weak
5 palm up (wave sideways) =d.H =d.H alt./=d.H what
5 palm up pull down to flat-o =d.H =d.H =d.H soft (wet?)
5 palm up/in turn out down (=d.H) (=d.H) (=d.H) finish
5 palm down shake =d.H =d.H =d.H nervous
5 palm down in to a & out across s.H =d.H palm up alt. d.H destroy
5 palm out down waving =d.H =d.H =d.H fear
5 palm out down s.P, turn palm in and pull sideways
(as if columns and rows)
palm in schedule
5 tips out arc up back over shoulder past/long ago
5 tips up =d.H under d.A, palm down tree
claw-5 chin squeeze to s orange
claw-5 chest, palm in tap complain
claw-5 chest, palm in circle disgusted
claw-5 chest, palm in down wish
claw-5 waist, palm in up =d.H =d.H =d.H angry
claw-5 palm up pull down to flat-o =d.H =d.H =d.H wet (soft?)
claw-5 palm up pull in =d.H =d.H =d.H want
claw-5 palm down circle/twist =d.H palm up alt. d.H confused
claw-5 palm down brush down s.P (close to a) tips out subtract
claw-5 palm down, tips to s.H open out =d.H =d.H =d.H much
claw-5 palm in up out to s =d.H =d.H =d.H strong/brave
claw-5 on back of s.H, palm downdown to s =d.H =d.H =d.H habit
claw-5 tips to s.P close to flat-o,
pulling toward subject
back to copied object
(copy machine:
palm down)
copy
claw-5 on s.H, palm down pull up to flat-o on forehead palm up learn
claw-5 thumb up squeeze to s milk
claw-5 thumb up sweep in across s.P to a palm up earn
claw-5 thumb up sweep in across s.H to s s thumb up win
claw-5 thumb in push past s.H down to a thumb up =d.H thumb up pull past d.H up to a thumb inmean
claw-5 heel in s.P, palm down grind heel to heel =d.H palm up cheese
8 tips out flick mid F. out =d.H =d.H =d.H hate/dislike
sense forehead, palm in turn palm out smart
sense forehead, palm in push in sick
sense chin tap favorite/prefer
sense chin turn palm out lucky/delicious
sense chest, palm in pull in small arc feeling
sense chest, palm in pull out to 8 like
sense chest, palm in down =d.H =d.H =d.H discouraged
sense chest, palm in circle in =d.H =d.H alt. d.H excited
sense waist, palm in up =d.H =d.H =d.H thrilled
sense touching s.mid-F tip up turning palm in =d.H =d.H =d.H light(=unheavy)
sense s.H back, palm down turn up to palm out palm down sharp
sense s.H back, palm down sweep out over back of s.H,F palm down empty/nude/bare
sense s.H back, palm down sweep up s.A palm down early
face, palm in bend fingers sleepy
forehead, palm down pull out making flat-o boy
(+baby=son)
forehead, palm in pull across to a forget
temple, palm down pull to y
(or wiggle mid F)
why
mouth, palm in wipe mouth napkin
chin, cross s.H/tips updown&out =d.H =d.H =d.H calm/quiet
chin, palm in pull out to palm up (to s.P) (palm up) good/thank you
chin, palm in pull out twisting to palm down bad
under chin, palm down flip fingers down pig
under chin, palm down wiggle fingers (down) dirty
shoulder, palm down down on shoulder =d.H =d.H (same sh.) =d.H responsibility
shoulder, palm/tips in wave up happy
shoulder, palm/tips in down =d.H =d.H =d.H clothes
chest, palms down pull in to chest =d.H under d.H, =d.H =d.H satisfied
chest, palm in circle up forward pleasure/enjoy/like
chest, palm in circle across and down please
on s.A, thumb up saw s.A a across chest, palm down wood
under s.A, palm in circle against s.E a across chest, palm down country
under s.A, palm in pull from s.E to flat-o a across chest, palm down poor
cross s.H, palm down up =d.H =d.H =d.H prevent
cross s.H, palm down down & out =d.H =d.H =d.H split/divide
on s.H back, thumb up forward over s.H =d.H palm down after
on s.H, palm down rub s.H in circle =d.H =d.H smooth
on s.H, palm down rub out over s.H =d.H =d.H alt. d.H comfortable
on s.H, palm down pull up s.H/A =d.H =d.H slow
on s.H, palm in chop moving up s.A =d.H palm down improve
under s.H scoop up s.F =d.H palm up easy/almost
in s.P, palm out swing to palm in =d.H =d.H alt. d.H become
in s.P, thumb up forward & up =d.H palm up right(legal/moral)
in s.P, thumb up in & down =d.H palm up some
heel in s.P, palm down grind heel to heel =d.H palm up cheese
tips on s.P, palm down sweep out across s.H/F =d.H palm up forgive/pardon
excuse (me)
in front of s.F, thumb upwiggle/wave =d.H tips to d.Heel, thumb up=d.H fish
grasp s.H ulnar edge, palm uppull down away into a =d.H palm in skill(ed)/qualified
palm up sway =d.H under d.A, =d.H =d.H baby
palm up tap s.F tips =d.H =d.H =d.H introduce
palm up circle/wave sideways =d.H =d.H alt./=d.H here
palm up down to bent =d.H =d.H =d.H now
palm up down =d.H =d.H =d.H heavy
palm up scoop up forward to palm in =d.H over d.A, palm down morning
(+eat=breakfast)
palm up scoop up to side =d.H under d.H, =d.H new
palm up close to flat-o, tap s.F flat-o palm down add
palm up scoop in to waist (you're) welcome
palm up bounce out thing
palm down flick wrist, tips down & up =d.H =d.H =d.H walk
palm down twist to palm up land in s.P =d.H palm up arrive
palm down circle down into s.H =d.H palm up marry
palm down clap down into s.H =d.H palm up school
palm down wiggle fingers over s.H =d.H palm up study
palm down down towards s.H =d.H palm up decrease/reduce
palm down sweep out across s.H/F =d.H palm up nice/clean
palm down sweep out across s.H s palm in enough
palm down sweep in across s.H s palm in full
palm down scoop in twist palm up over s.H s thumb up fire (from job)
palm down bounce child
palm down up to mouth palm out frustrated
palm in chop down into s.H =d.H palm up stop/finish
palm in slide out over s.H & then down =d.H =d.H finish
palm in circle over&around s.H =d.H =d.H kind
palm out swing to palm in =d.H palm in alt. d.H compare
palm out swing to palm in (=d.H) (=d.H) (alt. d.H) appear(ance)/seem
palm out up & out =d.H =d.H =d.H wonderful
tips up, palm in back over shoulder before/past
tips up =d.H under d.A, palm down noon
tips up to point forward later/future/will
tips up chop between s.T and s.Metacarp1 =d.H thumb in interrupt/bother/disturb
tips down flip back late/not yet/have not
thumb side up rub s.P =d.H =d.H alt. d.H eager
thumb side up up =d.H =d.H =d.H allow/permit
thumb side up down =d.H =d.H =d.H -er (person)
bent forehead, palm in/down tap know/familiar
bent cheek, palm down/out (pivot) down (=d.H) (=d.H) (=d.H) shame
bent cheek, palm down/out tilt head against back off hand shy
bent shoulder, palm in wave up =d.H =d.H =d.H young
bent shoulder, palm in roll knuckles to chest =d.H =d.H =d.H animal
bent shoulder, palm in twist down to thumbs out =d.H =d.H =d.H tired
bent shoulder, palm in (tap) =d.H =d.H =d.H have
bent on s.H back, palm down curl forward around s.Wrist palm down night
bent knuckles to s.K, palm downturn palm up =d.H =d.H (=.d.H) how
bent s.P tap (ulnar) moving down from s.F to s.P tips up list
bent tips in s.P, palm in repeatedly tap s.H
(bounce forward?)
palm up often
bent tips to s.Fs, palm downtap =d.H =d.H =d.H equal/fair
bent palm up turn palm down, tips into s.P =d.H again/repeat
bent palm in push into s.H forward of d.H, =d.H again/repeat
bent palm in push towards s.H forward of d.H, =d.H near
bent palm in pull away from s.H forward of d.H, =d.H before
bent palm in jump over s.H forward of d.H, =d.H next
bent palm in tips slice down back of s.H inside d.H, =d.H bread
bent palm out swing to palm in =d.H palm in alt. d.H compare

tx = thumb inside/to tip of fingerspelling 'x'
cx = like fingerspelling 'c', but only with index finger.
sense = middle finger pulled in

(a blank dom.Hand shape refers to a relaxed open hand shape,
with fingers close together (unlike open-fingered 5))
(other blanks refer to absent, indifferent,
or directionally relevant options)

based on information from:

Sign Language Made Simple by Lewis, Henderson, & Brown, 1997 (Doubleday)
A Basic Course in American Sign Language by Humphries, Padden, O'Rourke, & Paul, 1994 (T.J. Publishers, Silver Spring, MD)
The American Sign Language Phrase Book by Fant & Miller, 1983 (Contemporary Books, Chicago)

order:
roughly top down,
general to specific,
but unspecified last
(such that bent is very last
as an example of a subcategory of unspecified shape)

d. shape, location-orientation,
then by sub. specifications
(movement being as yet unordered)