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Website development: "to do list" (requested signs)

Note: This page is simply a holding bin.  I use it to keep track of signs that people have asked for.
Eventually I'll get some time (maybe in the summer) and be able to respond to these requests.
I receive waaaay too many requests to keep up with and still do excellent work at my day job.  So...I paste thigns here from time to time so that "someday" I'll get a "roundtuit."  I love you all.
--Dr. Bill

Fix at website so that students can do well on their finals:

SOAP USE,  (Lesson 17)



 NEXT-WEEK (Lesson 12)

Add a "grammar index" page indicating where to find grammatical structures in your lessons such as morphemes (mouth and facial), modern number incorporation, and body movement morphemes.


In your dictionary,  you do not have the sign for break-down/collapse.  Instead, the signs you have listed for break is also listed under break-down.
You have it on your site, just not linked in the dictionary. (A student of mine was looking for the sign)


Need to better explain:
Lesson 26:   10. PLANT -- (SEEDS)

Lesson 27:  57. PREFER
Lesson 29:  142. BALD (VARIATION)

Lesson 30: 198. HALL

(Note: obviously I need to explain these better in the lessons)





30. DO-DO


Quiz 11

hi professor i'm in your sign 2 class mwf 10-10:50 and
i'm having trouble finding a few signs online. i was
hoping you could explain them to me or send me a
picture of the signs. here they are (broke, something,
job, number and worker) thank you
andrea hills



Add "sweeper" to the janitor page.  Plus do an animation for "clean up."




Is there a difference between the signs for "Every Morning" and "Every Day."  (yes)

Lesson 18:  Row of Cars (CL:3)



In a message dated 10/12/2006 9:56:37 AM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

Hi Bill,


Do you know how you would sign "stomp your feet" or "stomp feet"?  Also, what is the sign for "Tidy up" or "Clean up"?







Make sure to place a graphic for ACCIDENT and put it on the cl 3 page and or adjust the "A" listing under accident

AFRICA:  Fix the Africa page to put the local variation first and change the text.

Lesson 10:  Do an entry for "know nothing" (Since it is question number 201 on the lesson 10 quiz).


I was wondering how to sign "deceive"... it is not on your list. Thank you! :-) Bridget

"Behind the Curtain"

Many vegetables and fruits don't have well established signs, they are spelled, some do though, and eventually I'll post the following signs:  potato, corn, lettuce, tomato, avocado, green pepper, red pepper, peas, pineapple


Need to post the second version of SPELL to lesson 2



Sign Request:  Second Grade:

You show a "2" and twist it a bit, then you show "grade" in one of three ways:
1  Tap a "G" hand on a "B" palm as if signing an initialized form of school.
2  Slap a "G" hand upside an upright B palm as if signing the word LAW with a "G" hand.
3  Slide a "G" hand up an upright B palm as if signing "TALL" or elevator with a "G" hand.
There isn't any one "best" sign for grade, but those are the three I see most often.
Later when I do some more videoing I'll create a "grade" page. (Might be a while though).
Dr. Bill


In a message dated 5/26/2006 8:15:58 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

I am an assistant SPED teacher. I have one student who is hearing impaired I work with. She is going to 2nd grade. How do you sign 2nd grade and 2nd grade teacher? I am not familiar with these signs




Dear ASL Hero,
I have added your request to my "Request a Sign" page at:
That page is a holding page for incoming sign requests.
I will link link the sign to the new page as soon as I develop it.  If you see your concept linked, you will know that I've completed that page.  If it isn't linked, it is still under development.  It may take a short while or it may take a long while. I work on this page as time permits (family, work, school, church, occasional sleep, etc.)
Best wishes in your signing endeavors.
Dr. Bill Vicars

Notes:  are the signs TOMORROW, WHERE, RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL, PIZZA, and SOAP clearly taught in the lessons?


In a message dated 5/2/2006 8:15:04 AM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

Do you take suggestions for adding signs to your site?  I have several reference materials--all up to date--and primarily use MSU's ASL browser and your website, but sometimes I just can't find the sign I'm looking for.  Do you have a place on your website where people can send you a list of signs they'd like to see added?  Is it a difficult process to add more demonstrations of signs?
Hi Marta,
In the Lifeprint Library I have a link called "Request a Sign"
that is my holding page for incoming sign requests.
Then once in a while I fire up the video camera and do a batch of new signs.  Sometimes it takes a month or more.
I've thought about commercializing the process, to provide me the incentive to work faster,  something like "If you want a 48 hour turnaround posting time, click here to submit your sign request and pay a $5.00 processing fee."
But as it is, I just do them when I get around to it.


In a message dated 6/16/2006 12:02:17 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
Hi Dr Bill

Here's a few signs the webtour is missing that I'm sure many parents would find extremely useful:

wet (as in I'm wet, and Are you wet?)
potty ---> go potty
diaper ----> diaper change
kiss it better
common colours:  pink, purple, white, black
good clothes
play clothes
dirty (clothes, face, hands, etc.)




Requested signs:

QUOTE (add to "quote" page as accessed by the Q list)

FEATHER (needs a graphic, already has a page.)
"pledge of allegiance"
"girl scout promise"
"boy scout oath"
RESPONSIBLE (with bent hands) already has a page, needs this variation.
the inflection of the sign "sign" can affect the meaning
silly little signing not very good at it
chugging along signing basic skills
signing rather quickly
ASL signing
good asl
great asl
oh wow asl
don't need to add "language" cuz it IS a language
just like you don't say "English language"
do you speak English language? (that sounds funny right?""

SEASON (add to existing page)

RULER (measurement tool) add to ruler.htm

NEAT:  Dr. Vicars, My deaf friend uses a sign for "hey that's cool" similar to the sign for "apple."  Is this a regional variation here in Florida?  I have seen his other deaf friends use that same sign also. -Gene Brotherton Port Orange, FL.

The sign for apple makes contact with either the second knuckle, or the flat area beween the second and third knuckles of the index finger.  The sign for "neat" makes contact with the third knuckle (the one closest to the fingernail), or the tips of the pinched index finger and thumb.
The sign for APPLE is a bit more toward the center of the cheek, whereas the sign for NEAT is a bit lower and nearer to the side of the chin.

New Testament
Old Testament



In a message dated 4/9/2006 2:59:17 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

How would you sign PRIVILEGE in ASL?
Rachel Kelly ,Kiwichick
In a message dated 2/15/2006 12:49:08 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, writes:
Hi Bill!  I am a Speech/Language Clinician who works with Tina Gardner, to whom you've previously responded.
I love your website!  Thank you!  Can you please send me the sign for 'bubble/bubbles' (the kind you blow through a wand) and for 'tube'?  These are two motivators for a little guy we work with and we'd like to teach him the signs for them.

Thank you so much!
In a message dated 3/14/2006 9:34:41 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, writes:
Hi there,

I've been looking for a sign for clay or dough or playdough to no avail.
Can you share with me what you use?  Thanks! Dawn

Dawn Prochovnic
SmallTalk Learning
Sign Language Workshops
for Infants, Toddlers, & Young Children

In a message dated 3/19/2006 10:45:55 AM Pacific Standard Time, NapaTony2 writes:

Hi Dr. Bill,
I was wondering if you could explain how to differentiate during a sign conversation between uppercase and lower case letters - for example: how would you differentiate between CODA and coda? Thanks.
I hold the left index finger up and use the right index and thumb to indicate size of the letters.
The right thumb rests on top of the tip of the left index finger.  The right index finger moves to either the "L" position or the "G" position depending on if you are indicating capitalized or lowercase.


Note to self:  glean words from below list:


At under BUS (driver)  I show an accepted form of the sign for bus as the second entry.

There is a third form as well that whacks two "B" hands together.  I'll have to post that one someday too. (considered to be "signed English."
There is a 4th form that uses two "C" classifiers.
I don't have time to post them right now...but I'll make a note in my list of "to dos."



Cheat (variations)

Note to readers:  This is a "holding" page where I store requests for signs that I will "get around to" posting the next time I have time to do some videoing.


Here is a list of signs people have requested. I'll develop pages for them as I have time:

In a message dated 7/28/2005 12:05:14 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
i want to know how to sign Columbus Day, 4th of July, Club, Extreme if you
can help me i am trying to get a job to help out the deafs. one day i want
to be a deaf interpreter that's why i just want to know how to sign these
words please bill i hope you will understand
Columbus Day:  tap the thumb of a "C" hand on your forehead and then sign DAY.
July 4th:  Spell July and then show the number 4 with a little twist.
Club:  Spell it out.  There is a sign for this but it isn't well known.
Extreme:  There is no sign for "extreme."  The concept can be expressed through inflecting various signs depending on your meaning.  For example one typical way is to do the sign for "hate" but only use your dominant hand and hold the flicking of the middle finger a bit longer.

niece / nephew/ on time/ next week / NEWS / ARTICLE

Dragon, Vocational
how to sign Culture, Cable, Handicap, Disability
Cowboy, Maintenace, Hardware, Definite
 Patio, Backyard, Lawnmower, Handicap, Disability
Cowboy, Hardware, Etc.
Wild, Cowboy
Handicap, Got
Valentines day

Pledge of  Allegiance

i want to know how to sign Company
If you are talking about a business you spell "CO"
Cowboy, Money Order,
Access, Maintenance, Hardware, Culture, Cable, Drag
Edition, Stretch Marks, Super Nintendo,
Pinball, Mega, Dragon, Batman


Requested discussions:
Name Signs,
Time (non-manual inflections)
ncorporation of Time


Another thing you may want to add to your site is age: do you use the index finger out from chin for up to 5 yrs. old? Ten years old? After that the 'old' sign plus the number?

In a message dated 7/15/2005 4:14:31 AM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
Age: Do you use the index finger out from chin for up to 5 yrs. old?  Ten years old? After that the 'old' sign plus the number?
Oh hey, I'm a little weird on my "age numbers" but since you ask I'll tell you how I do it.
I do the "chin + number" version for ages 1-year up through 9-years.
I sign OLD + Number for 10 through 12
I sign "CHIN + number" for 13 through 18
I sign OLD + number for 19 on up.
Sure, I've seen some "formulas" in a few ASL text books, but for me--any age-number that begins with an extended index finger tends to be fair game.  It would be interesting to do a research study on that one and see what sort of patterns show up in the various segments of the Deaf community.


In a message dated 9/4/2005 7:04:27 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, Stephx609 writes:
I have been searching for a while for the ASL signs for the following words:
If you know any of the signs, I would LOVE to know.  Thank you for an incredible website, I have frequently studied ASL including the use of your website for many years.  Thank you!
Stephanie Howard
In a message dated 9/28/2005 5:32:18 AM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
I think the only thing I didn't find
was "Jump" and my baby sure likes to do that!  :) 
In a message dated 10/7/2005 1:14:32 AM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
Can you tell me how to sign "footprint" and "ribbon"? The kids must color in 25 footprints to earn a blue "Official Happy Feet, Healthy Food Kid" ribbon. 
Carol Goodrow
In a message dated 5/11/2006 9:20:34 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
Hello Dr Bill,

  How are you doing?I really love your signing and
explanation.I will like to know how these words are
  Joyce Nyarkoa Owusu

Classifier: 1 or index finger  CL:1
Classifier: 3 CL:3
Classifier: 5
Classifier: A
Classifier: B and Classifier; BB
Classifier: F
Classifier: H,R, and 4
Classifier: Inverted V and bent inverted V
Classifier: Quantifiers
Classifiers: Size, Location, Movement

Post the sign "terrorist" to the terrorist page.

Later development:  "conjunctions.htm" (file exists, not linked)

In a message dated 11/29/2006 10:37:40 AM Pacific Standard Time, burr0099@  writes:
Hi Bill,
I am a student at the University of Minnesota, currently in ASL 3. I  have the Random House Webster's ASL Dictionary, but I often rely on 
your site for current, cultural descriptions of signs. (The personal, anecdotal information is much more useful than a basic dictionary.) 
So, I was wondering if you could add signs for gay, lesbian, etc? (Or  are they already on the site somewhere and I'm just missing them?) Do 
you recommend using the initialized signs on the chin or is there something more up-to-date? You could also add signs for "partner" and 
other related signs.

Thanks for your help,
Amy Pagett
Hi Amy,
I can put those signs on my to do list.
It might be a while since the "to do" list is pretty long.
But at least they will be in the pipe for eventual inclusion.
I just do the initialized "GAY" / "LESBIAN" signs on the chin. Or if in an unknown group I'll spell G-A-Y.  For partner I do the "roommate" sign.
But what do I know?  I'm like the world's straightest geek.
The other day a tattooed motorcyclist showed me half a dozen signs for "gay" that he says are in use.  One of which was "tugging on the earlobe."  Heh.
I'll have to ask around to see if he was giving it to me straight, er, I mean, telling me accurate information.
Dr. Bill
Hello BillJust wanted to thank you very much for the contents - I am sorry to have acknowledged this so late due to a new job which I have just started - I am sure I will have a blast going through it during the holidays - Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to you and your family.

Dr. Bill wrote:
I finally found a website for you that has cities and states and such.
Check out:
Also see:
Plus eventually I'll have time to add such signs to my own website.
Have a nice holiday season.
In a message dated 12/31/2006 12:33:07 PM Pacific Standard Time, writes:
Hi Bill,

I am trying to find signs for the following:

If you know of signs for these words, please add them to your dictionary web
site.  THANKS!
Happy New Year!

His child and student,
Sue Hollingsworth

In a message dated 1/8/2007 7:51:11 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, kerri_butcher@ writes:
Dr. Vicars... another question for you from the Deaf Ed classroom (using SEE) in Kokomo, IN. The word 'just' is on a spelling list/reading book this week. I am familure with the sign for just that indicated - a little bit ago/recently and, the the sign for just that indicates - just/justice. What sign do you use for "just like...". This is in a book and we are trying to teach english structure so we need a signed word for this... got any suggestions?
Kerri Butcher
In the phrase "just like," the word "just" is there to modify the word like to mean "very."  As in "very much the same as," or "very similar."
In ASL the concept of "very" is often expressed by inflecting a sign or by using non-manual markers (facial expressions and body language."  Thus the concepts "like" and "just like" differ only in the extent to which they indicate similarity.  The term "just" would be incorporated into a strong finishing movement of the sign "SAME/similar."


Hey there!

I hope that you're having an excellent new year (so far)!

I'm not sure if you remember me, but I wrote you a while back to thank you for all of your effort and patient instruction.

My progress with ASL is going very well thanks to your resources as well as practicing with my deaf co-worker.

I was trying to figure out the best sign for "file" or "document" as it's used in computer lingo.

I couldn't find either in the dictionary links, and my friend seems to be unsure of the best sign to use in this situation.

For now, instead of signing "save new file", I'm signing "save new", which seems to work fine.

I'd appreciate your thoughts!


best wishes,



Signs that have been added:
LAZY (2/13/2007)

In a message dated 2/4/2007 9:10:09 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, Glopsey writes:
More words to sign (no, you needn't reply with translations, these are ideas for your site).
Here are other words to add to your site that I didn't see. You don't need to e-mail me discriptions, but it may be useful for others checking out your site.
Why make the list? I love learning new sign and I can't sleep!!! I think it's the nerves of being in front of that darned video camera for ASL 4 that's keeping me awake (I hate cameras).
Anyway, the words:
schizophrenia (please say I don't have to fingerspell that!!!)
"mental illness" (brain + sick???)
seals (animal and military)
sex (gender and, you know.... hey, the guy standing behind me asked!!! He also wants to know all the bad words and words for particular body parts and all kinds of drugs and blah blah blah... I won't blame you for keeping those off your site!!! He is sooooooooooo immature!!!)
china (different from those on your site: Make a G sign with the nondominant hand. Point index finger up on donimant hand, and pretend to make a plus sign with the index finger between you and the G sign. One of the Chinese characters is a vertical line with a horizontally laying rectangle towards the top, hence the sign)
Cry while leaning on something (X's with both hands, dominant at eye, nondominant "over the edge" of what you and leaning on. Make small circles away from you with both hands in same motion at same time)
blue jay
other birds..........
hail (the icy stuff from the sky that loves to dent peoples' cars!!!)
the different states of the good ol' US of A
I'll send you more as I think of them, but now I think I'm tired enough to go to bed! Finally!!!

File:  hold up the left five hand, palm facing right, fingers pointing up.  Stick the pinkie side of the right flat hand (similar to a "B" hand) in between the middle and ring fingers of the left B hand as if placing a document in to a folder.


Raven ( wants to know the sign for the country "Turkey"

Dear Doctor Bill,
         How would you sign outer space?!?! cause in my asl class we are doing a project where we have to sign a song and in my song it says "now your back from outer space" and my teacher keeps telling me to sign other things but i am determined to find a sign for outer space. Thanks alot!

In a message dated 3/5/2007 10:40:04 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, writes:
Dr. Vicars,

Thank you so much for an amazing website!  My son is 2 1/2 years old and we casually started signing with him as an infant.  I later ran across the pbs show "Signing Time" and started teaching him signs I learned on the show... and it's so wonderful to see his genuine interest in signing.  He's constantly asking "How you sign (this) or (that)"

Which is where your site comes in!   You are our homepage on the kitchen computer and every day we look up a few more words.  In the past few months I'd say we've learned a good 250 signs.

He is also very much into his manners and I was hoping you might help us with signing "Bless You" for when someone sneezes...

Thank you so much!  

In a message dated 3/6/2007 8:27:46 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

Dr. Bill,

How would one sign "somewhere?"

-Robyn Pence


In a message dated 3/6/2007 12:46:38 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, writes:
Hello my name is Brooke and i live in Jacksonville florida. I have a question about a sign.
i would like to know how to sign "Anywhere"? please write back thank you.
oh and i think you know my teacher Ms. Pence i think she has wrote you before

In a message dated 3/18/2007 9:45:01 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
Your first and last name:  Juanan M Boen
Your mailing address:  Hayward, Ca
Your organization:  None, I am a mother.  I have a minor degree in ASL from CSUEB (formally CSUH).  My instructor was Ken Mikos.  I am a certified Network Presentor with Sign2Me and teach baby sign language to my son's playgroup.
Your position or title in that organization:  Tiny Tot Hands is my business name.  Yet, have not gotten around to registering it yet.
The name of the project you are working on: none
What resources of mine are currently helping you: I refer to the dictionary quite often.
Hello Bill,
Would you be able to tell me the sign for Twinkle Twinkle as in the nursery rhyme song?  I've been told it is signed like this:  "open eight handshape is the eight sign but with the middle finger out farther than the other fingers and the palms are facing each other....then using that postion you shake the hands as if you were sprinkling something off that middle finger."  I'm confused.  Can you help me understand this?
Also, in that same song, how would you sign the verse, "What you are?".  I've been told it is signed using the DO-DO sign.  Is this correct?
I appreciate you help!


In a message dated 3/30/2007 11:37:43 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
Also, this site is absolutely wonderful!  I wish I had known about it when I was first taking classes.  I am planning on letting my instructor know about it.  While others play mindless video games on line (and - I do that sometimes) I find that it is just as much fun 'playing' the finger spelling words. 
Many of the clients I have worked with have serious issues communicating verbally.  Signing is one way to communicate for this population, including many people with autism or an inability to control muscles in their tongue, cheeks and mouth.  Recently, I worked with a woman with Cerebral Palsy, in a different agency, who had these issues but could sign very well.  Because of my fair ability using ASL, I was able to help her through making a complaint and getting checked medically at the hospital when she was sexually assaulted. 
Name:  Use "H" hands, Hold the right "H" above the left "H" (if you are right handed). Bring the right "H" down to touch the left "H" and then bring the riight "H" back up an inch and down again onto the left "H."

Short (version):  Use "H" hands.  Place the right "H" on top of the left "H."  Keep the left "H" still (do not move it).  Slide the right "H" along the length of the left "H" a couple times.

In a message dated 3/15/2007 5:45:44 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
My name is Carrie Marchant and I live in Lancaster, CA.   Presently, 
I am a stay at home mom with two kids who love learning new signs.  
The older one loves teaching the baby new ones and is constantly 
challenging me.  Neither my kids or anyone we know are hearing 
impaired, so I use your site and others to find the answers to these 
questions. You have helped alot with odd signs, such as yesterdays 
"dragon" - thanks!

Today, we are wondering about the sign for Castle?



sign language question 
2/27/2007 8:41:00 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time

Thank you for your wonderful sign language site! I use it often. I am trying to learn how to sign a song "When I survey the Wondrous Cross". A sentence in the song is "or thorns compose so rich a crown?" How would I sign "thorns"?
I can hear, but when I saw someone signing a song one day I knew I had to learn sign language. I can't carry a tune (so you don't want me to sing, but I thought signing music is the most beautiful way to express the words in a song. I absolutely love learning to sign and wish there were someone around I could practice with. I took a couple sign language classes to get me started, but the distance is so far to travel that I have continued the learning process on my own. Thank you again for your site which has helped me out with learning many words!! I thank God for people like you who are willing to share!
Joanne Stowe
Elgin TX
Note: Do a spell check of site and replace all instances of "curley" with "curly."




In a message dated 5/10/2007 6:16:14 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
Hi! My name is Kara Newland and I was recently introduced to your site. 
Very impressive-thrilled hearing people have an easy way to be exposed to
sign at home!  I was raised around a deaf community in New Mexico and have
since moved to Kentucky.  I have run into quite a few variations in sign and
wondered if I could have your opinion on a few...

Motivated - two "m" postures pushing forward?

Intimidated - two "s" postures in front of head moving into open hands?

My rule of thumb is "deaf people are always right" but I have two friends-
one from each state-arguing over two different signs for each word.

Thanks so much!!!

I use a version of "enthusiastic" to mean "motivated" (adjective).
I use  version of "bush forward or "encourage" to mean "motivate" verb.
I use an "L" that changes to a closed "G" on the back of the base hand to mean "intimidated."
Dr. V


"Any significantly advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
- Arthur C. Clark

*  Add the sign crayon (color + modified form of draw) to the coloring.htm page



Post and/or if already posted then make sure these are linked to front index:
borrow parent onion tomato remember

In a message dated 6/8/2007 9:02:35 AM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
I'm looking for a sign for "color blind"
Do I just combine the two signs or is there a distinct sign?
You combine the signs "color" and "blind."

In a message dated 6/3/2007 8:31:05 AM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:



In a message dated 6/18/2007 3:24:50 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
Mr. Vicars,
I am a TaeKwonDo instructor and have just started working in SugarLand Texas.  Two of my adult students are deaf and I would love to be able to communicate better with them.  They follow along great and read lips pretty well, but I feel that I could provide better lessons for them if I could communicate more efficiently.  I also feel that it would show them that I respect them.  Both students are black belts and are at a point where a lot of their lessons will be learned more through philosophy and technique than memorization.  This is one of the reasons I feel that my learning sign language would benefit them.  My colleague and I came across your sight while looking for terms online.  We have been practicing simple words that would be commonly used in class (water, punch, strong, etc.) and we are really excited so far!  We want to build our vocabulary every day.  As we progress, could I please run questions by you?  For instance, we couldn't find the sign for "kick."  Also, we could find some of the words we wanted, but did not know how to convey them in sentence form (ex. step back, punch harder, get a partner).  I tried to sign "slow, I'm learning" by doing the sign for slow, pointing to myself, then doing the sign for learning.  It may have looked like "slow, me learning" I don't know.  It would be nice to feel more competent and confident!  My coworker and I are very excited about learning more to communicate with and honor our students and I thank you in advance for your help with that.  I also want to thank you for your site, it's helped so much already!

Annie Price
4th degree black belt
TaeKwonDo Instructor
Actually, your best source will be your Deaf students.
A Deaf blackbelt will be much more authoritative regarding martial arts signs than some dude (me) with a Ph.D. in Deaf Education.
Ask them the signs for various terms.
Once you find out the signs from them, feel free to forward them to me and I'll post such signs or even create a special area at my website to showcase martial arts related signs.
(Dr. Vicars of


Forgive me, I'm swamped with work and other obligations right now.  I will add your letter to my "requested signs list" but that might be many weeks.
Until then, I strongly suggest you seek out a local deaf person or interpreter that can show you such signs in minutes.
In a message dated 6/23/2007 7:58:11 AM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
Greetings, Dr. Vicars!

I have been using your free lessons and am really enjoyig learning
ASL! And as I learn new signs, I am teaching them to my 2 & 5 year
old little girls. They are enjoying it as well.

I have a couple of specific questions, if you wouldn't mind
answering them. I teach at a  Christian daycare and I have been
teaching my students a song and the sign language to go along with
it. I am having trouble finding references for "religious" signs.
Specifically, words like forsaken, hope & hopeless, praise (as in to
praise the Lord) joy (I was thinking we could sign happy-- would
that be acceptable?). There is a phrase in the song that says, " I
am fearfully and wonderfully made!"  What are you suggestions for
signing this correctly?

Thank you so much for taking the time to put together a website such
as this. We are learning a great deal! I have found that the
animation on certain signs really helps in learning them. Thanks for
doing that!

Thank you in advance for taking the time read my e-mail.

Mrs. Heather Lawson
Decatur, AL

In a message dated 7/3/2007 10:12:12 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
Hi, my name is Elli Cox.
I am 13 years old, and I am really interested and enthusiastic in ASL.
One of my hobbies is doing gymnastics, and I tried to find it on the sight, and I couldn't.
So, what is the sign for "gymnastics?"

I have added this sign to my list of signs that I will video and put on my website. It might take many weeks since I'm behind on a number of other projects.
Here is a text description:
To sign gymnastics hold our your non-dominant hand. Place your dominant hand in an upside-down "V" shape on the palm of the non-dominant hand.  Imagine someone "standing" on the palm.  Then have that "person" do a flip and land on their feet.  (Back to the starting position.)
Dr. V

Add "Hot air balloon" to the hot air balloon existing page.

Add a "grammar index" page indicating where to find grammatical structures in your lessons such as morphemes (mouth and facial), modern number incorporation, and body movement morphemes.


Thanks so much Bill! I really appreciate your quick response. Is this an animation that at some point you may add to your website? Thanks

On 8/5/07, Dr. Bill wrote:
> In a message dated 8/4/2007 9:30:45 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
> writes:
> Hi Bill. I am helping some children out with learning some signs and
> wanted to teach them things "On The Farm". I am not able to find how
> to do the sign for "Tractor" Can you help me out ASAP? I appreciate
> it.
> Please email me back, if you can, explaining how to do the sign at
> this email address.
> Thanks.
> Colleen Smith
> Rochester, NY
> Use a left-hand (non-dominant) "3" to represent a "vehicle" (thumb pointing
> up) and then use a right hand "C" to represent the bucket of a tractor. Put
> the base of the right thumb on the tip of the left index finger and pivot
> the bucket a couple times to show how the bucket moves.
> --Bill
> ________________________________
> Get a sneak peek of the all-new

In a message dated 9/4/2007 8:00:35 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, renaco(at) writes:
The 2nd version of dig (quick scooping motion) is not in the on-line lessons, nor, on the unit 6 CD. Did you remove it from the study sheet because it is not a sign widely used? I noticed that it was on the unit 6 test. I figured out what it meant because so many things are very visual in ASL. Just wanted to give you a heads up.

Need to add the sign MOLE to the mole.htm page

Need to add "change" with "W's" version of WEATHER to weather page.

Need to add graphics to existing "conclude" page

In a message dated 11/6/2007 11:22:23 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, writes:
The sign for "conclude" is the same as "end" right? Is conclusion the same? As I read things, I tend to 'interpret' them in my head. I came across a reading with "conclusion" and "summarize" in the same sentence. How would you correctly sign that?
No rush, just wondering.
Thanks! Cynthia Kaniski
Conclude can mean "end" so you could sign END or FINISH.
Conclude can mean "agree" so you could sign AGREE.
Conclude can mean "decide" so you could sign DECIDE.
Conclude can mean "deduce" so you could sign THINK-consider DECIDE. 
Conclude can mean for a group to decide, so you could sign "COLLUDE" DECIDE.
(The sign COLLUDE is the one that looks like a combination of the signs "MEETING and "MULL-OVER."  I realize that description is unlikely to make sense without a video, so I'll put it on my list of "to-dos.")


I recommend you go through the lessons starting with #1 and working through to #20.
Sorry about the sign "GOD" not being up yet...I will see if I can get that posted for you within the next little while.  (busy, busy, busy)
Note:  I have a resource for you that you might want to seriously check out (regardless of you church affiliation or denomination).
The Mormons have an amazing collection of online videos of Christ-related signing.
Check out:
And specifically see:,17631,7231-1,00.html 
Their Children's Songbook in American Sign Language (ASL) is amazing.
Dr. Bill

In a message dated 9/27/2007 12:03:28 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

Dr. Vicars,


I teach Sunday School for young three year olds in our church.  This year we have a child in our class who is deaf; her parents are hearing.  They brought us the "Baby's First 100 Signs" to help us communicate with her.  Having her in our class has sparked my long interest in this beautiful language.  I have been online at your website a lot in these past few weeks.   


I have need of some signs that are "under construction".  I did find, just today, a section on Bible words for people like myself.  But, the sign for GOD is not listing there either.  I'm thinking that there is a sign for GOD, but that for reasons that sign is being re-thought.  I've been using the sign for trinity (I've been doing it wrong, now that I've seen it in this section).  Is it possible for you to give me the sign that has, til now, been used for GOD? 


I've been using the website, so far, via the old "hunt and peck" system.  I go there and pick out the words needed for our Bible verse and Bible point for the week's lesson; some simple communication statements (ex. "glad you are here"; "good morning", words not on the Baby's Signs, etc.)    I have read (scanned actually) several places on the site like the Q & A.  I've taken note of statements about signing not being English; that the grammar is different.  So, I'm pretty sure I'm not putting words together properly.  If you care to point me in a better direction for a more organized way of learning, that would be fine.  That question maybe answered someplace on the website.  I've not yet made a thorough search of the site.


Thank you for this website.  Even if I'm doing phrases wrong, it has given me someplace to go for information; examples; vocabulary words.  I love the pictures of you showing the signs.  I'm not a quick study, so looking at these for as long as it takes me and not having to "keep up" is so wonderful.  The animations are invaluable. 



Faye Allen

Houston, Texas



Hey, thanks for the terrific feedback and information.
Heh -- Good catch -- I didn't mean pneumonic. I got a chuckle when I went to reply and noticed my email program underlined your suggestion in red. What!? So I decided to look up that word (just to check it out, I love words) and noticed that your suggested correction was also misspelled. Isn't that ironic?  It isn't "mneumonic" it is actually "mnemonic!"  There's no "u" in "mnemonic!"  Who knew!?!? I did a Google search and there were 22,000 spellings with the "u" and 1,340,000 without the "u." 
Now what I need is a mnemonic to remember how to spell mnemonic!
Good luck with that workshop of yours.
(Dr. Vicars of
In a message dated 9/28/2007 11:22:07 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
Hi Bill,
I'm putting together a resource list for my ASL workshop for hearing families with babies.  I consider your site much better than the well-know MSU ASL browser!!
I was just checking the ASL sign for Canada and was reading the first comment.  I don't know what the viewer on the TV was seeing...maybe the meaning of the sign was "Question Period" which is the part of our national government proceedingss which is televised....just a guess, here ??
I have been studying ASL for almost 25 years and have attended 2 ASL adult immersion week-long camps in Ontario, Canada in 2006 & 2007 and your sign for Canada is exactly the same as the Deaf sign -anywhere in Canada (I live in Alberta)!  It also has the meaning of "Canadian"...a person from Canada, depending on context. (That is, the "agent" sign for "person" does not need to be added to mean "Canadian".  (I suspect that would apply when one wants to indicate that someone is "American", even though your site indicates that the "agent" sign should be added)
Tricia Davis, M.A.
Calgary, AB
p.s. I absolutely love your site.  I go to it regularly to practise, especially before I attend a Deaf event in my community. I swear that even a sit-down practice of 10 minutes helps me get by.  After all these years of studying and using ASL, I'm just starting to "get" the fingerspelling (used to work with Deaf kids, who did not fingerspell much) & I think a lot of the benefit comes from being able to "prime" my brain for reading the fingerspelling of native signers & not allow my brain to "freeze up" when a Deaf signer fingerspells quickly to me.
p.s.  I don't know if it is a typo on your site or not - but I read "pneumonic" where you should have typed mneumonic (memory aid) eg: on page explaining sign for Canada). 

Add graphics for the sign DISABLED to the disabled.htm page.


Could you describe "Advent" in ASL, because I could not find any image or description on how to sign it. I am not really sure how to sign it. Please let me know.  Also I have some signs from scriptures such as "Emmanel", "Episcopal", "Epistle", "Exodus", "Gentiles", "Isaiah", "Jehovah"and "Judaism" and I don't know their signs nor have seen any in the classes at our church.
Can you help me?? Thanks!

Rainee E. Sellers
" is everlasting love."
Advent is signed in one of three ways depending on what you mean:
1. 2nd COME

I will work on doing some videos for the other signs.

Notes for future development:

Advanced Signs Checklist:


_____AFTER-YOU, WHEN-YOU-ARE-DONE-USING-IT, LET-ME-HAVE-IT ("21" handshape, wiggle thumb)

_____ALL-YEAR-ROUND (both hands; index fingers, one index finger circulate returning to the original place)

_____BAGGY-EYE (caused by lack of sleep) ("B" handshape; palm down; place on upper right side nose; slide down )

_____BEAT-AROUND-THE-BUSH (two index fingers with one holding still and the other moving around back and forth)

_____BECOME-VERY-SICK (both hands, bent "V", move backward)

_____BEHIND-WITH-SOMETHING ("both hands, "TEN" handshape; place at front of your; right hand to move backwards toward your shoulder)

_____BETTER-THAN, SUPERIOR-THAN ("S:" handshape ..."H" handshape; Directional)

_____BORED-[privately] (you don't want people to know that you are bored: drop your arm and hand; sign "BORED " )


_____BRING-THE-COST/PRICE-DOWN, REDUCE-EXPENSES ("CUT" sign on top end of' B" handshape, palm down)

_____BURNING, ALMOST-READY-TO-EXPLODE ("B" handshape positioned below chest with "FIRE" under "B")

_____CAN-NOT-THINK-STRAIGHT, CAN-NOT-THINK-CLEARLY (sign "MAJOR" but ending up turning to the left)

_____CAN'T-SLEEP, TOSS-AND-TURN (CL V; bend' twist a couple of times on CL:B)

_____CHIP-IN, DUTCH-TREAT (both hands, sign "PAY" toward each other)

_____CLEVER; SKILLFUL (Sign "EXPERIENCE" from your cheek, somewhat exaggerated)

_____COMPROMISE (both hands, sign 1/2)

_____DETERIORATE (Thumbs up, slowly drop them with tongue out a little bit)

_____DIDN'T-SAY-THAT (index finger on lip)

_____DISCUSS-TOGETHER; PLAN-TOGETHER; ETC. (both hands together, fluttering)

_____DISGUSTED; SICK-OF-IT; GROSS ("CURLY" sign, place on stomach)

_____DISOBEDIENT; UNLAWFUL (point nose, flick-marble)

_____DO-ERRANDS; DO-LITTLE-CHORES; DO-DIFFERENT-THINGS ("#DO-DO"; move up and down the index fingers moving in oval circle)


_____DON'T-CARE; SAY-SO-WHAT ("Y" handshape off from side of nose, twisting forward)

_____DOWN-TO-EARTH ("A" handshape to puffed cheek)

_____DRAW-LINE; STAY-OUT-OF-THE-WAY (draw line with pinky finger)

_____DWELL-ON-SOMETHING; ON-YOUR-MIND-FOR-A-WHILE ("THINK", then change to sign "PITY" toward the other hand "B", palm down; circulate)

_____EAT-FAST-AND-A LOT, GOBBLE (one or two hands CL:B moving back next to the mouth, ending up with "5" handshapes)

_____EXPERT; EXCEL; DARE-DO ("9" handshape on chin and head given a slight shake)

_____FALL-IN-LOVE (extended index finger from nose to top front of extended palm of the other hand)

_____FAR-OUT (with left hand, point; place right hand on top of the left hand; "5" handshape; bend; move outward, ending with a "S" handshape)

_____FEEBLEMINDED ("4" handshape; bend; place hand on the temple; bend 3-4 times with tongue hanging out)


_____FEEL-NOTHING ("FEEL"sign; move to sign "DOESN'T-MATTER" but with only one movement, not repeated)

_____FIRST-QUARTER, SECOND-QUARTER, ETC. ("4" handshape with the index finger of the other hand pointing at which "quarter")

_____FIRST-WEEK, SECOND-WEEK, ETC. ("4" handshape with the index finger of the other hand pointing at which "week")

_____FORGET-IT; PUT-THOUGHTS-ASIDE (index off forehead, both hands then "THROW-AWAY" sign)

_____FRUGAL, "just getting by" ("25" both hands alternately go to the chin)

_____GO-LOT-OF-PLACES; VISIT-MA NY-PL ACES (both hands; "B: handshape; sign outward alternately)

_____GOOD-LUCK, SO-LONG, SEE-YOU-LATER, SEE-YOU-AROUND ("A" handshape with thumb up and jerk)

_____GOOD-RIDDANCE; GLAD-TO-GET-OVER-WITH (middle finger of both hands extended forward while others are held back, sign forward)

_____GO-OVER-SOMEONE'S-HOUSE, VISIT ("B" handshape, one hand dive toward the person's house)

_____GO-TO-DIFFERENT-PLACES; SHOP-AROUND; PLAY-THE-FIELD/DATING ("V" handshape; bend, make little jumps as you move into an arc)

_____GOT-YOU; TIT-FOR-TAT; ONE-UPMANSHIP ("U" handshape; palm out; move forward and up slightly )

_____GREAT, WONDERFUL; WOW, I-LIKE-IT (thumb on chest, ripple)

_____GROUP-OF-PEOPLE-GETTING-INSIDE-A-CAR-OR-BUS (CL: 5 (bent) moving into "C" handshape)

_____HALF-TIME, INTERMISSION ("4" handshape with "B" handshape between the middle finger and the ring finger)

_____HANDS-OFF, DON'T-LET-ME-BE-INVOLVED (middle fingers on both shoulders and brush them off)

_____HAVE-BEEN-THERE; HAVE-BEEN-AT-A-PLACE ("TOUCH" on top of the other hand)

_____HAVE-ENOUGH-OF-SOMETHING, SATISFIED ("B" handshape with palm down to your chin and slide across)

_____HIT-JACKPOT; SET-LUCKY; GET-CORRECT-ANSWER ("HIT" sign hitting index finger of other hand)

_____HIT-THE-SACK, GO-TO-BED ("SLEEP" CL:U into "C" handshape)


_____HOLD-INTEREST, DRAW-ATTENTION, ATTRACTED-TO ("C" handshape at the front of both eyes to "5" to the direction of the thing that attracts

_____HOOKED; ADDICTED, STRONG-HABITS; TRAPPED-WITH-RESPONSIBILITIES (index finger at the corner of the mouth; bend; pull to the side)

_____IGNORAMUS ("Y" handshape; place hand on forehead; palm down; wave violently with the three middle fingers)


_____KEEP-SECRET, NOT-SAY-A-WORD, DON'T-SAY-ANYTHING ("C" handshape to "S" at the front of your mouth)

_____KEEP-LOT-OF-PRESSURE-TO-YOURSELF (both hands; "5" handshape; place them on chest, side by side; squeeze both hands)

_____KICK-BACK (both hands; palms out; index fingers; bend both fingers; move one hand toward shoulder)

_____KID-STUFF, ("SNEEZE" sign with pinky finger up; shake)


_____KNOW-NOTHING; (F" handshape; sign to forehead)

_____LAST-MINUTE (Contraction Sign ="LAST' + "MINUTE"; sign backwards)

_____LEAVE-SOMETHING-BEHIND-FOR-A-LONG-TIME (sign "LEAVE", hold the sign for couple of seconds, tongue out)

_____LOCK-HORN (both hands; "Y" handshape; clash 3-4 times)

_____LONG-TIME ("Y" handshape of f from side of forehead, straight forward)

_____LOOK-AROUND (both hands; "LOOK" sign at the same time, make movement from left to right or vice versa)

_____LOSE-MONEY, GAMBLED-AND-LOST-MONEY (index finger thru "B" handshape, palm down)

_____LOSE-TEMPER/BLOW-ONE'S-TOP (index on forehead, then bring down to other hand "C", sign "11")

_____LOVE-IT (kiss your fist)

_____MACHO, TOUGHIE (right fist against the upper right chest sign twice)

_____MAKE-BEST-USE-OF-YOUR-TIME ("GRAB" sign repeatedly on "B" handshape, palm up)

_____MAKE-LOAN-AND-BUYING/PAYING-OFF (CL:C moving from location to the opposite)


_____MINGLE, SOCIALIZE, MEET PEOPLE (both hands "5" moving around alternately)

_____MISS-BY-HAIR, ALMOST ("F" handshape; sign away from the front of the head)

_____MISSED-SOMETHING, BLEW IT, LOSE-AN-OPPORTUNITY (sign "LOSE"* with tongue positioned at first "P" and ending with "th")

_____MULL-OVER, PONDER (two facial expressions [worrying and wishing]; hand into oval shape with the fingers fluttering at the front of your forehead.)

_____NEXT, ONE'S-TURN ("L " handshape to one's chest depending whose turn is it)

_____NOT-GOING-TAKE-IT; OH-SURE- YEAH-YEAH ("5" handshape; close; shake)


_____NOT-MY-TYPE (middle finger touching just below the mouth twice then zero [Compound Sign - TASTE + NONE])

_____NOT-TRUE; BALONEY; YOU-MADE-IT-UP ("4" handshape off forehead in circular motion)

_____OFF AND ON ("5" handshape, palm facing left, moving hand back and forth)

_____OFF-THE-POINT, BY-THE-WAY (two index fingers touching with one holding still and one starting to move out)

_____OH-I-SEE; OH ("Y" handshape repeated up and down)

_____OLD-HAT, OLD-NEWS, TIRED-OF-IT (sign "BORED " away from the chin)

_____ONE-MORE (Contraction Sign = ONE + MORE)

_____ON-THE-FENCE ("B" handshape with palm facing sideways; "STAND" sign on top; shake slightly)

_____OPEN-MIND (Contraction Sign = "MIND + OPEN")


_____OVERLOOK ("COVER" sign at front of your face)

_____PAID-FOR ("TOUCH" with the other palm upward, slide inward, then sign "CLEAN")

_____PAIN-IN-THE-NECK (same handshape as "KID-STUFF" sign; stick index finger to the neck; twist slightly)

_____PAINT-THE-TOWN-RED, HAVE-A-GREAT/WILD-TIME (index finger wiggling under "B" handshape, palm down)

_____PAL, BUDDY, BEST-FRIEND ("FRIEND" sign, stress)

_____PATRONIZE; BE-A-REGULAR-CUSTOMER; TO-GO-THE-SAME-PERSON ("B" [horizontally] to the index finger of the other hand, repeat)

_____PEOPLE-GOING-TO-A-CERTAIN-PLACE (CL:55 moving toward a certain direction)

_____PEST; SILLY; ANNOYING ("SICK" sign forward to forehead)



_____PUT-SOMEONE-IN-A-PLACE-OR-SOMEWHERE ("S" handshape to a certain location)

_____QUICK; FAST (index and pinky finger up; jerk with arm)

_____REALLY-WANT-IT; CRAVE ("4"' handshape come down from the side of mouth)

_____SAME-OLD-THING; RUN-OF-THE-MILL (index finger to nose; grind with other hand)

_____SECOND-A-MOTION, AGREE [100%], YOU-HAVE-MY-SUPPORT ("L" handshape index finger pointing toward the person with a strong emphasis)

_____SECRET; PRIVATE-MATTER ("U" handshape, front of mouth, fingers bouncing of f alternating)

_____SHOCKED; STARTLED INTO SILENCE (index finger from forehead into "FREEZE")

_____SHOULD-HAVE-KNOWN; RESTRAIN FEELING ("5"handshape into "S" handshape in front of neck)

_____SMART; INTELLIGENT, ("C" handshape on forehead, head given a slight shake)

_____SO-EXHAUSTED; PASS-OUT ("B" handshape with thumb out; palm up. place K" handshape on top; pull)

_____SOON, VERY-SOON ("F" handshape; sign away from your chin and to, repeat 2-3 times)

_____SO-SO (same as above except the hand is shaken)

_____SO-TIRED, POOPED, KNOCKOUT (CL:U on top of CL:B, CL:U slides backwards)

_____SPECIFIC, TO-THE-POINT" (two index fingers with one holding still and one moving toward the other index finger)

_____STARTLED; HEART-JUMPED (hand up on chest, sign "LIGHT-ON", then "LIGHT-OFF" quickly)

_____STUDY-IT-OUT, INTENT-MINDED ("C" handshape on "B" handshape; circulate)

_____SUDDENLY, UNEXPECTED (sign "WRONG", twist, tongue out a little)

_____TAKE-RISK/CHANCE; WILL-GO-AHEAD (index fingers off from ears, then fingers extended)

_____TAKE-TURNS, ROTATE ("L " handshape, point to one person and then shift to the next person)

_____TALKING-TO-YOURSELF; TALKING-TO-A-WALL (both hands "I", each from the temple to middle, bouncing)

_____THAT' S-ME, MY-STYLE, MY-WAY (sign "MY" 3-4 times--directional)


_____TIME-PASS-BY, TIME-GO-BY (both hands; "5" handshape; place above your shoulders, palms toward your shoulder, move forward alternately)

_____TOO-TECHNICAL; DON'T-UNDERSTAND-BIG-WORDS ("Y" handshape repeated sideways extended index of the other hand)

_____TWO-FACED; HYPOCRITE ("FISH" handshape; both hands; both palms down; one hand over the other; all fingers drop down)

_____USED- (car) ("L" handshape; shake)

_____USE-STRONG-ASL (both hands; sign "MANY" but do not move arms or move alternately )

_____USE-UP-SPACE, USE-UP-A-LOT-OF-SOMETHING (CL:B moving back next to the mouth)

_____VERY, WOW (bent "5" across your face a few times)

_____VERY-COMPLICATED ("4" handshape; bend; and unbend, both hands moving toward and past each other.)

_____VERY-NEAR-OR-CLOSE; VERY-FEW ("F" handshape; sign away from your nose)

_____WHAT-SHOULD-I-DO-NEXT? (#DO -- DO, both hands, repeat)


_____YOUR/MY-FAULT, YOU/ME-TO-BE-BLAMED ("A" handshape moving outward from "B" handshape, palm down





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