ASL University ►

American Sign Language: "expire"

A person named "Lyn" writes:

Dear Dr. Bill,
My question is regarding the sign for 'expired.' Meaning 'expired' as in 'an expired driver's license.' Or, as in 'these pills expired six months ago.'

To express 'expired,' I use the sign that means: dissipate; dissolve; disintegrate; melt; fade-away etc. This refers to the sign that starts with a Flat O hand; then all fingers slide toward the base of the hand until you have an A hand shape.

My question is two-fold. Am I correct, or incorrect, in using that sign?

Secondly - is there another sign (or other signs) that would be more accurate and more in keeping with true ASL?

Thank you for your time and expertise - and willingness to share the same with so many ASEllers!

- Lyn

Dear Lyn,
Your sign choice of "dissolve" is a clever idea but not the best sign in this situation. 
There is a very specific sign for "expired license."

How you do it is you hold up two "L" hands with the thumb-tips near each other (or even touching), palms pointing forward, and index fingers pointing upward (as if you were going to sign "LICENSE").  Then you rotate your dominant hand so that the index finger (of the "L" handshape) is pointing down.  The thumb-tips are still pointing directly at each other and are still touching or nearly touching. The difference now is that one "L" hand is pointing up and the other is pointing down.

Dr. Bill


You can learn American Sign Language (ASL) online at American Sign Language University
ASL resources by    Dr. William Vicars

Want to help support ASL University?  It's easy DONATE (Thanks!)
(You don't need a PayPal account. Just look for the credit card logos and click continue.)

Another way to help is to buy something from the ASLU "Bookstore."

Want even more ASL resources?  Visit the "ASL Training Center!"  (Subscription Extension of ASLU)   CHECK IT OUT >

Bandwidth slow?  Check out "" (a free mirror of less traffic, fast access)   VISIT >


back.gif (1674 bytes)