There is an ASL sign for each letter of the alphabet. Fingerspelling, using the signed alphabet to spell words, is quite common. Fingerspelling is used to:

  • spell people's names or other proper nouns, such as places or organization names that do not have a designated ASL sign
  • spell words from spoken language that don't have a designated sign, such as slang or profession-specific jargon
  • spell words that you do not know the ASL sign for
  • some people prefer to fingerspell words that have ASL signs, there is nothing wrong with that, fingerspelling can be used as often as one would like
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