ASL Dictionary Letter B

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Baby Beautiful Be Quiet Billiards Blanket Book Break
Bad Bed Best Bird Blank mind Borrow Brother
Ballet Before Better Birth Blood Both Brown
Balloon Begin Between Birth control Blind Boy Build
Banana Behind Bicycle Birthday Blue Bracelet Burn
Bath Belief Big 1 Bitter Blush Brave Butter
Be Below Big 2 Black Body Bread Buy



Baby The arms are held with one resting on the other, as if cradling a baby. They rock from side to side.
Bad The tips of the right 'B' hand are placed at the lips, and then the hand is thrown down.
Ballet Both hands, fingers together, point straight down. They move up and down in successive order.
Balloon The signer mines blowing up a balloon. The cupped 'C' hands expand and the cheeks are puffed out.
Banana Go through the motions of peeling a banana, with the left index finger representing the banana and the right fingertips pulling off the skin.
Bath
(bathe)
The closed hands move up and down against the chest as if scrubbing it.
Be The tip of the right index finger, held in the 'D' position, palm facing left, is held at the lips, and the hand moves straight out and away from the lips.
Beautiful The right hand, fingers closed over the thumb, is placed at or just below the lips. It then describes a counterclockwise circle around the face, opening into the '5' position, to indicate the whole face. At the completion of the circling movement, the hand comes to rest in its initial position, at or just below the lips.
Bed The head is tilted to one side, with the cheek resting in the palm, to represent the head on a pillow. Both index fingers, pointing down, move straight down a short distance, in unison (the two front legs of the bed), and then are brought up slightly, and move down again a bit closer to the body (the rear legs).
Before The left hand is held before the body, fingers together and pointing to the right. The right hand, fingers also together, and pointing to the left, is placed so that its back rests in the left palm. The right hand moves rather quickly towards the body. The sign is used as an indication of time or of precedence.
Begin The right index finger, resting between the left index and middle finger, executes a half turn, once or twice.
Behind Both hands, in the 'A' position, are held knuckles to knuckles. The right hand moves back, describing a small arc, and comes to rest against the left wrist.
Belief
(believe)
The index finger touches the middle of the forehead, and then both hands are clasped together.
Below
(under, underneath)
The right hand, in the 'A' position, thumb pointing straight up, moves down under the left hand, held outstretched, fingers together, palm down.
Be Quiet The index finger is brought up against the pursed lips.
Best The fingertips of one hand are placed at the lips as if tasting something, and then the hand is brought high up above the head into the 'A' position, thumb up, indicating the superlative degree.
Better The fingertips of one hand are placed at the lips, as if tasting something. Then the hand is moved up to a position just above the head, where it assumes the 'A' position, thumb up. This latter position, less high up than the one indicated in BEST, denotes the comparative degree.
Between The left hand, in the 'C' position, is placed before the chest, all fingers facing up. The right hand, in the 'B' position, is placed between the left fingers and moves back and forth several times. This sign may also be made by pointing the left fingers to the right, with the left thumb pointing up, and the right hand making the same back and forth motion as before, with the right little finger resting on the left index finger.
Bicycle Both hands, in the 'S' position, rotate alternately before the chest.
Big
(large)
Both 'L' hands, palms facing out, are placed before the face, and separate rather widely.
Big
(tall)
The right right-angle hand, palm facing the left, is held at the height that the signer wishes to indicate.
Billiards The signer, hunched over an imaginary cue stick, mimes striking the ball.
Bird The right thumb and index finger are placed against the mouth, pointing straight out. They open and close.
Birth
(born)
Both cupped hands, palms facing the body, are placed at the stomach or lower chest, one on top of the other. Both hands are moved out and away from the body in unison describing a small arc.
Birth control The upturned right arm rests on its upturned left counterpart, and both arms rock back and forth (BABY). The left hand, fingers together and palms flat, is held facing somewhat down. The little finger edge of the right hand, striking the thumb side of the left, pushes the left hand slightly forward (PREVENT).
Birthday The left arm, held horizontally, palm down, represents the horizon. The right elbow rests on the back of the left hand, with the right arm in a perpendicular position (BIRTH).
The right 'D' hand, palm facing left, moves in an arc to the left until it is just above the left elbow (DAY).
Bitter
(sour)
The right index finger is brought sharply up against the lips, while the mouth is puckered up as if tasting something sour.
Black Move the right index finger sideways across the right eyebrow.
Blanket The downturned hands grasp an imaginary blanket edge and pull it up over the chest.
Blank mind The right right middle finger moves across the forehead from left to right, indicating an emptiness within.
Blood
(bleed, bled, bleeding)
The left '5' hand is held palm facing the body and fingertips pointing right. The right '5' hand touches the back of the left and moves down, with the right fingers wiggling.
Blind The tips of the 'V' fingers are thrust toward the closed eyes.
Blue The right 'B' hand shakes slightly, pivoted at the wrist.
Blush The tip of the right index finger of the 'D' hand moves down over the lips, which are red (RED). Both hands are then placed palms facing the cheeks, and move up along the face, to indicate the rise of color.
Body One or both hands are placed against the chest and then are removed and replaced at a point a bit below the first.
Book
(textbook)
Place the hands palm to palm, with fingers pointing forward. Open both hands to the palm-up position while maintaining contact with the little fingers.
Borrow The 'K' hands are crossed and moved in toward the body.
Both The right '2' hand, palm facing the body, is drawn down through the left 'C' hand. As it does, the right index and middle fingers come together.
Boy The thumb and extended fingers of the right hand are brought up to grasp an imaginary cap brim, representing the tipping of caps by men in olden days. The downturned right hand then indicates the short height of a small boy.
Bracelet The curved thumb and index finger of the open right hand are wrapped around the left wrist.
Brave Both '5' hands are placed palms against the chest. They move out and away, forcefully, closing and assuming the 'S' position.
Bread The left arm is held against the chest, representing a loaf of bread. The little finger edge of the right hand is drawn down over the back of the left hand several times, to indicate the cutting of slices.
Break
(broken)
The hands grasp an imaginary object and break it in two.
Brother The thumb and extended fingers of the right hand are brought up to grasp an imaginary cap bring, representing the tipping of caps by men in olden days. The outstretched index fingers are brought together, either once or several times.
Brown The 'B' hand is placed against the face, index finger touching upper cheek. The hand is then drawn straight down the cheek.
Build The downturned hands are placed repeatedly atop each other. Each time this is done the arms rise a bit, to indicate the raising of a building.
Burn The '5' hands are held with palms facing the body. They move up and down alternately, while the fingers wiggle.
Butter The tips of the fingers of the downturned right 'U' hand are brushed repeatedly over the upturned left palm.
Buy The upturned right hand, grasping some imaginary bills, is brought down into the upturned left palm, and then the right hand moves forward and up in a small arc, opening up as it does.

Up to the word index table.

ASL Numbers 1-10 | ASL Alphabet

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M
| N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

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Hand signs from the ASL Fingerspell (amslan) font.
Many of these definitions are from the "American Sign Language Concise Dictionary" Copyright © 1994 by Martin L.A. Sternberg
Special thanks to the creators of the Michigan State University ASL Browser Web Site for providing the animated signs.