This sign uses "bent" hands. Hold the right hand either behind or in front
of the left hand and then move the right hand "near" the left hand.
Another variation is to move the right hand relatively quickly to and make
contact with the left hand. If whatever you are talking about is
"really close or nearby" then roll your shoulders forward and hunch
down a bit. Start the sign with the hands a bit closer together and use
more facial expression, (a whistling expression on the lips, eyes squinted a
This version pats the left hand twice:
Near by my side:
American Sign Language University ™ ASL resources by Lifeprint.com © Dr. William Vicars
In a message dated 8/22/2006 9:27:18 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
Hi Dr. Bill - Quick question - Re:
the sign "near" using bent hand shapes and "near/ not far" using
handshape F touching bridge of nose moving downward - In which
situations do you use these signs? What is the difference?
The "not far" sign using the "F" handshape is specifically used for
The "near" sign using the bent hand has a broader range of meanings.
It can mean distance but it also is used for duration as in "getting
close to the end of a project." That version moves the dominant hand
toward the base hand. I have also seen the "near" sign used to indicate
emotional closeness. While some "experts" would debate the
appropriateness of that usage, it is not my goal to prescribe usage but
simply document and discuss what is indeed being used.
(Dr. Bill Vicars of Lifeprint.com ASLU)