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American Sign Language: "locations"

Various locations

To sign "bottom" hold the dominant hand about six inches below the non-dominant hand. The non-dominant hand doesn't move. The dominant hand does a down-up-down patting movement. The movement is in the wrist. Think of "patting the bottom of a box."
Some people "circle" the dominant hand, but to me that means "below/basic/beneath." 



Compare:  "BASEMENT"

To sign "top," form both hands into flat hands.  Hold the non-dominant hand (generally) vertical.  Then use the dominant hand to pat the "top" of the non-dominant hand twice.  In my example below I wish I had held my left hand a bit more vertical, but then again this might be a good time to point out that there is a "citation" version of a sign (the full, pretty, complete, carefully enunciated version) and the "casual" (sloppy, half-formed, lazy) way that most of us Deaf actually do sign on a daily basis.



"on the LEFT side"

The movement for this sign is similar to patting a wall on your left. Pat it twice with your fingers. The movement is in the wrist (not the arm).

Click for an for an animation of: "on the left side"

"on the right side"
The movement for "on the right side" is as if you were patting a wall on your right. It is an awkward little sign but it still the one we use.


Animation: "on the right side"

Also see: RIGHT

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