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TEMPERATURE: The American Sign Language (ASL) sign for "temperature"

There are several ways to do the sign for "temperature." They are all based on old fashioned mercury thermometers.  In the old days thermometers were little glass tubes filled with mercury (a wickedly dangerous liquid metal of which a few drops will absorb directly through your skin and cause liver failure and brain death).

Temperature (version 1) 
The dominant hand uses a "flat hand" shape.


Temperature version 2:

Slide the right index finger up and down the side of the left index finger. The dominant hand is in a palm-down "index finger" handshape

Side view:  Notice the right finger is between the body and the left finger.

If you wanted to discuss if the temperature was WARM, HOT, COOL or COLD:









Sample sentence: You prefer warm or cool weather?


Question: What is the difference between "MONTH" and "TEMPERATURE?"

Answer:  "Month" tends to use a single downward movement. "Temperature" tends to use a shorter, repeated movement. "Month" tends to be dominant hand palm-side faces back. "Temperature" tends to be dominant hand palm-side faces down. "Temperature" is sometimes done with a dominant "flat hand" whereas "month" only uses the index finger.

If you need to use both concepts (month and temperature) in the same sentence you could further distinguish the two signs by using the "flat hand" version of the sign for "temperature."


Index finger version of temperature:

Flat hand version of temperature:


Temperature (version 3)
I don't recommend this version because it looks so much like a "double movement" of one of the versions of the sign for "tall."

But I include it here so you will recognize it if you see it. The right index finger slides up and down the palm of left hand. Repeat.

TEMPERATURE (not recommended)



Years ago when I first posted this sign for "turn the thermostat up" we used to use a lever to adjust a mechanical-type thermostat.  Thus we had a sign that mimed the setting of a thermostat. These days "theremostats" are all electronic and controlled either through buttons, clicking on a screen, or automatically.  So I reckon these days you would just sign, "you-MIND HOT thumb-UP-UP?"

"Turn the thermostat up."

Turn the temperature down:






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