"Outside" has several versions.
The right version will depend
on whether you are using "outside" as a noun, verb, or adjective.
This version of "outside" is generally used as an adjective that means "situated on or pertaining
to the outside; exterior; external." (Some people also use this
version as a noun to mean "outdoors" -- especially if you do it large
like I'm doing it here. But there is another sign that specifically
means "outdoors." See further below.)
OUTSIDE (general version)
This version uses a quick repeated movement
of "to go out." The repeated movement makes it a noun. (If you were to
do this movement a little larger, with a bit more of a pause between
repetitions, it could mean "to go out repeatedly.") But the way I'm
using it here it definitely means: "outside."
OUTSIDE / OUTDOORS:
The verb form of this sign means: "GO-OUT" You just do a
single movement that aims "up and out" at an angle or does a bit of an arc
as I'm doing here. This sign is a larger, higher version of
the sign LEAVE.
Note: The fact that "a single movement of this sign is a verb and a
double movement of this sign makes it a noun" qualifies this sign as a
General sign for "OUT."
Used in contexts such as, "I took it out."
(Yah...I know my hair, what little I have, is mussed. Whatever. Pay
attention to my hands.)
(to leave the inside).
This sign is sometimes used to mean "to have left." The use of the
base hand indicates having been "in." Walls.
Think of this sign as meaning, "be inside and then leave."
Note: The movement is slightly forward and off to the side. The
handshape changes from a loose hand to an "and" hand (squished "O").
"To go out" "He/she is out":
Notice this next variation starts with an "open" hand and closes as it moves
out. This open then closed movement is related to influence from the concept
of "leave." For more info, see: "LEAVE"
A colleague (an ASL teacher) writes:
... I use only
handed sign in a repeated motion to show outside.
outside." A variation of the sign not repeated combined with a
flat palm as shown in your picture is an adjective to show
something's out or to go out. My preference is for the verb
go out" -- is to use one hand sign, instead of two hands.
Dr. Bill's response:
Thanks for sharing that.
I agree. The one-handed sign for "outside" is indeed a
widely used sign and
needs to be included on [this] page under the heading of "outside."
I think the two-handed variation is worth posting though since it is also in use to
For example as of this writing there is a two-handed version shown at Michigan
State University's website that is specifically labeled as "outdoors."
My current thinking for the "outside" page is to:
1. Show the "single movement one handed version" under the heading of
"GO-OUT" and label it as a verb and mention that it is related to a very
similar sign: "LEAVE." (And then provide a hyperlink to the "LEAVE"
2. Show a double movement of the one-handed version and label it as
"OUTSIDE" and indicate that it is widely used as a "noun" form.
3. Show the two-handed version of the general "out/outside" sign
and label it as the general sign for "OUT" and explain that some people
use it to mean "go out,"
"outside," and/or "outdoors."
As an instructor in the classroom I like to show my students various
sentences so they can get a better feel for the meaning and usage of
For example, when I sign, "Do you want to go out to eat?" I always use
the "single movement / one-handed" version of "GO-OUT."
Again, thanks for your input.
-- Dr. Bill
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