ASL Lessons | Bookstore | Library | ASL University Main ►
STATES: The American Sign Language (ASL) sign for "states"
Signs for "states" in the United States have quite a few variations. If you learn a sign for a state out of a book or on a website and later a local ASL native (from that state) tells you "That isn't how it is signed. Sign it this way..." -- pay attention and learn another way to sign that state and use the same sign as the local native Deaf adults (particularly those who went to residential schools).
Below are some fairly common versions of states. If your local teacher prefers something else, hey, he or she gives the grade eh?
Note: Some states and cities have signs others you fingerspell.
Alabama: Fingerspell "ALA"
Alaska: Fingerspell "Alaska" or do the "fur around face" sign.
Arizona: Fingerspell "Arizona" or do the "A" at the corners of the mouth sign.
Arkansas: Fingerspell "ARK"
California: ILY-hand index fingertip to earlobe swing once into a "Y"-hand.
Colorado: Do a "C" arc on the forearm or sign [COLOR and spell "do" or "ado"] or spell Fingerspell "Colorado" (Some people just spell "COLO" but that feels weird to me.)
COLOR + DO-[version]:
Hawaii: Spell or H-FACE or FACE
HAWAII-[non-initialized-version] / face / looks:
Idaho: Spell or "potato"
Illinois: Spell ILL but it ends up looking like ILY sign.
Indiana: IND (Using a bit of a bounce)
Kansas: Spell, or KAN-(some-people-sign), KS
Louisiana: L sideways movement into an "A"
Maine: Spell or sign "profit"
Missouri: sideways-M into an O
Montana: spell or sign MUSEUM
MONTANA / MCDONALD'S:
Nevada: spell or NEV
New Hampshire: NH
New Jersey: NJ
New Mexico: NM
New York: palm-down-Y sliding on non-dominant-palm
North Carolina: NC
North Dakota: ND (with a modified D)
Oklahoma: OKLA-(lexicalized with a bit of a clockwise arc from the signer perspective)
Oregon: Spell or circle an O in the air.
OREGON-[shoulder version / not recommended]:
Pennsylvania: sideways-P changes into an "A"
Rhode Island: RI
South Carolina: SC
South Dakota: SD with a modified D
Texas: X moves in a "7 path" (draw a 7 in the air with an X-hand)
Washington: W moves forward off of the shoulder
West Virginia: Sign WEST then VA. Note: Some people move the W to the right.
Wisconsin: WIS or WISC
Wyoming: WYO (a bit lexicalized with a dip on the Y)
United States Territories:
Alberta: A-hand brushes backwards twice on back of loose-non-dominant hand
British Columbia: BC
Manitoba: Spell or use a BENT-hand to brush heart-area out to the side and back.
New Brunswick: NB
Newfoundland: tips-of-5-hands-thumbs touch waist/hips area and wiggle the fingers
Nova Scotia: NS or HS
Ontario: palm-up-O circled (similar to and upside-down Oregon) or use the same sign as OREGON (a circled O hand)
Prince Edward Island: PEI
Quebec: Circle a Q or Circle a modified-X-(thumb-pointed-forward)
Saskatchewan: SASK or spell SASK with the "A" turned sideways
* Want to help support ASL University? It's easy: DONATE (Thanks!)
* Another way to help is to buy something from Dr. Bill's "Bookstore."
* Want even more ASL resources? Visit the "ASL Training Center!" (Subscription Extension of ASLU)
* Also check out Dr. Bill's channel: www.youtube.com/billvicars
You can learn American Sign Language (ASL) online at American Sign Language University ™
ASL resources by Lifeprint.com © Dr. William Vicars