An ASL Dictionary

Signing Savvy is a sign language dictionary containing several thousand high resolution videos of American Sign Language (ASL) signs, fingerspelled words, and other common signs used within the United States and Canada.

And Much More!

Signing Savvy is an ideal resource to use while you learn sign language. It includes the ability to view signs, build word lists and share them with others, create digital flash cards and quizzes, view asl sentences, get tutoring, ...and more

Sign of the Day - SLOW

How do you sign… toss?

How do you sign… toss?

By Jillian Winn and Brenda Cartwright  |  Monday, January 6, 2020

This article is part of our "How do you sign…?" series. There isn’t always one answer to this question! This series will try to provide specific examples, which show why the context and meaning of words are so important in American Sign Language.

How do you sign ________?

We get this question all the time, "How do you sign _____?" It is easily the most common question anyone asks. However, it can be a tough question to answer because there isn’t a direct translation for every English word. Figuring out the meaning and context of what someone is trying to communicate is the key to picking the right sign (or signs) to use. So if you provide context when asking the question "How do you sign…" you are much more likely to get an accurate answer. Remember, when in doubt, you should fingerspell the word. 

The Signing Savvy dictionary provides an "as in" for each word to help you pick the correct meaning. We also provide written and signed example sentences to help you understand the context in which the sign is being used.

How do you sign toss?

When selecting signs for our Sign of the Days, we pick signs that align with a "recognized day." Sometimes these days are national holidays, other times they may be more obscure recognized days. For example, when doing our research of recognized days, we ran across, "National Fruitcake Toss Day." It may seem like a silly concept, but if you have the blues after the holidays, maybe tossing a fruitcake would help? But honestly, what does it even mean to toss a fruitcake? Does it mean to toss it out in the garbage? Or toss it across the room? Because the signs you would use would be different for these two examples. Further research pointed us to The Great Fruitcake Toss event, which has been happening in January in Manitou Springs, Colorado for over 20 years. So in this case, the meaning is to throw it as far as you can!

Let’s look at some other examples of how to sign toss.

1. TOSS (as in "throw something")

TOSS (as in "throw something") is the sign you would use to sign you are tossing a fruitcake in a competition.

Example of the sign used in a sentence:

English Example: My sister is really good at tossing balls.

ASL Example: BALL MY SISTER EXPERT TOSS.


2. TOSS (as in "throw away")

You could use the sign, TOSS (as in "throw away"), if you were trying to say your fruitcake had gotten old and you need to toss it in the garbage.

Example of the sign used in a sentence:

English Example: The milk was no good, so I tossed it.

ASL Example: MILK NO GOOD TOSS.


3. TOSS OUT (as in "toss out or get rid of")

You probably wouldn't use TOSS OUT (as in "toss out or get rid of") for describing tossing fruitcake unless you literally were tossing it out of the house.

Example of the sign used in a sentence: 

English Example: Yesterday I tossed out my old clothes.

ASL Example: YESTERDAY I TOSSED OUT MY OLD CLOTHES.


4. TOSS (as in "mix/toss the salad")

TOSS (as in "mix/toss the salad") is only used when tossing a salad and wouldn't make sense when talking about tossing a fruitcake.

Example of the sign used in a sentence: 

English Example: Would you please toss the salad?

ASL Example: S-A-L-A-D TOSS DON’T-MIND YOU?

Understand your context, so you can use the correct sign!

As you can see, understanding overall context and meaning is crucial to helping you determine what sign/signs to use. Look closely at our Signing Savvy "as in" and the example sentences to help you find the right sign for your intended meaning. Be prepared the next time you ask someone, "How do you sign ______?" and have an example sentence ready of how you want to use the term.

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

By Jillian Winn  |  Tuesday, December 24, 2019

From all of us at Signing Savvy, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

2019 has been a busy year for all of us at Signing Savvy. We launched an updated version of our website with expanded features, including new tabs for fingerspelling, numbers, sentences, and lists. We continued to refresh our sign video dictionary with new vocabulary and refreshed, higher quality videos. Our one-on-one Savvy Tutoring and Savvy Chats continue to grow. And we published 40 articles across the year.

In 2020, we have some new features in the works that we are very excited about. Stay tuned!

We wish you all the best in 2020!

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Top Thanksgiving Tip: Better Conversations Using Sign Language

Top Thanksgiving Tip: Better Conversations Using Sign Language

By Jillian Winn  |  Monday, November 25, 2019

In the past, we have shared holiday-themed signs around Thanksgiving (See our article: 10 signs to know for Thanksgiving), but we feel strongly that what’s more important than learning to sign a few signs like turkey and pie, is conversational signs.

If you check out the Sign of the Day each day, you may have noticed that today’s Sign of the Day (on Monday, November 25th) is CONVERSATION (as in "talk to someone in sign language”) because this week is recognized as “Better Conversation Week.” Better Conversation Week is always the week of Thanksgiving and it is the perfect time of year for us to all focus on having better conversations. 

Sometimes our deaf family and friends feel excluded when they come home for the holidays. If everyone isn’t signing, they may feel excluded and feel like they don’t have a place at the table. This is a topic we've talked about in the past in the article Being Inclusive This Holiday Season. In honor of Better Conversation Week, in honor of Thanksgiving, and, most of all, in honor of our deaf family and friends, let’s try to sign. Signing is hard and it can be intimidating to sign with a fluent signer when you are feeling insecure about your signing skills, but the number one thing you can do is simply just TRY to sign.

To encourage and support everyone to sign this week, we have unlocked all of our member full example sentences for this week only. This is a member feature, but will be unlocked and freely accessible to everyone this week. 

Sentences Tab on the Signing Savvy Website

Click on the “Sentences” tab on the Signing Savvy website to get started. We suggest looking at the section on “Conversational Sentences.” There are lots of great examples of how to sign full sentences. We hope that before you know it, you are feeling comfortable signing "How have you been?” and "It’s good to see you.” 

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