The sign for "history" moves an "H" hand down, up, and
HISTORY: (version 2)
This version means the same as the previous version. It just adds the
non-dominant fist hand. The "H"-hand (lightly) whacks the back of the
In a message dated 3/15/2017 12:50:35 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
Lyn (Deaf, a wordsmith, an ASL instructor, and a poet) writes:
Many years ago I was told the correct way to sign 'history' is as
A dominant H handshape - fingers point straight out and palm faces
the non-dominant side of the body. Now, move the hand in two very
small circles - - if right-handed those would be clockwise circles.
The logic for the circular movement, I was told, was two-fold.
First, to represent the unending 'cycle' of history and second, to
help distinguish the sign from the signs for 'hurry/hurried/haste'
and 'hard of hearing.'
But most often (or so it seems to me) it is signed with two downward
I see "history" signed with a circular motion on occasion but it
seems to me that using two downward motions is the more common way
to sign it?
Can you tell me if both movements (circular and downward) are
correct? And if both are correct is the downward movement preferred?
I tend to do HISTORY using the two downward movements and a slightly
I have seen history done on the back of the non-dominant fist using
the motion of a locomotive wheel axle.
I've seen history done with two backward somewhat near the shoulder
flicks (connecting the sign to the past).
But I have "not" see that circular method to which you are
Which, of course doesn't mean it is "wrong" -- just so rare as to
not be something I'd teach to a college student.
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