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American Sign Language:  "air"

The sign for "air" depends on the situation. Generally I just spell it.

You can use variations of the sign for "wind" to show what air is doing.  When you do this you generally puff out your cheeks and blow out some air.

Notice, I'm not using much facial expression here, but if I wanted to show the wind was blowing really hard I would use more facial expression, puff out my cheeks and look like I was blowing out a birthday cake.

Discussion:  "AIR" 

In a message dated 4/8/2007 11:20:04 PM Pacific Daylight Time, a mother writes:
I use your website almost every day as I am learning ASL and teaching it to my 14 month old hearing daughter. It's been a wonderful and positive experience for us! She signs about 50 signs now. My question: What is the sign for "air." This morning she heard the heating kick in and she signed 'hot' and then blew onto her hand, meaning hot air, I gather. I was a bit blown away and am wondering if she indeed signed 'air' correctly? If so, I'm not sure where she learned it!
Very curiously yours,
--Lisa P 
Oakland, CA

There is no widely established sign for "air."
Usually we just spell it.
Sometimes we sign "WIND."
Often we simply show what the air is doing: filling a balloon, a tire going flat, blowing trees, etc.  We use a lot of puffed-cheek facial expressions and hold our hands up in loose "five" handshapes and flutter them to show how the air is moving.
Thus the "sign" your daughter did is really neat.  She is definitely on her way to being an awesome signer.
Her version of air is going to certainly be considered one of my favorites from here on out.
Dr. Bill Vicars

Also see: "airplane / fly"


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