ASL Dictionary Letter R

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Up Race
(noun & verb
a competition)
The 'A' hands are held side by side before the chest, palms facing each other and thumbs pointing forward. In this position the hands move alternately back and forth, toward and away from the body.
Up Railroad The right 'R' hand, palm down, moves down an inch or two, and moves to the right in a small arc.
Up Rainbow The right '4' hand, palm facing the signer, describes an arc in the air, from left to right.
Up Raise
(noun & verb)
The index and middle fingers of the right 'H' hand, palm up, are swung up and over until they come to rest on the index and middle fingers of the left 'H' hand, held palm down.
Up Ramp The downturned right hand, fingers pointing forward, move up an imaginary incline. Both hands may also be used, with one leading the other.
Up Ranch The right 'R' hand, palm facing left, slides from the left chin to the right.
Up Rash Both claw hands make dots all over the chest and/or face.
Up Reaction Both 'R' hands are held before the face, with the right 'R' hand at the lips and behind the left 'R' hand. Both hands move forward simultaneously, describing a small upward arc.
Up Read Point the 'V' fingers at the left flat palm and move them downward.
Up Ready The hands, palms facing, fingers together and pointing away from the body, are positioned at the left side and held about a foot apart. With a slight up-down motion, as if describing waves, the hands travel in unison from left to right.
Up Real
(really, truly, surely)
The index finger of the right 'D' hand, palm facing left, is placed against the lips. It moves up an inch or two and the describes a small arc forward and away from the lips.
Up Reason The fingertips of the right 'R' hand describe a small counterclockwise circle in the middle of the forehead.
Up Receive Both hands, in the '5' position, fingers curved, are crossed at the wrists, with the left palm facing right and the right palm facing left. They are brought in toward the chest, while closing into a grasping 'S' position.
Up Receive regularly The right claw hand, held above the side of the head, palm facing left, is pulled down repeatedly, closing into the 'S' shape each time. (This is an appropriate sign for "subscription", "benefits" such as social security, and "earnings" or "salary".)
Up Recent (ly) With the closed right hand held with knuckles against the right cheek, the thumbtip flicks off the tip of the curved index finger a number of times. The eyes squint a bit and the lips are drawn out in a slight smile. The hand remains against the cheek during the flicking movement. Sometimes, instead of the flicking movement, the tip of the curved index finger scratches slightly up and down against the cheek. In this case, the palm faces back toward the shoulder. The same expression is used as in the flicking movement.
Up Rectangle Both 'R' hands describe a rectangle in the air.
Up Red Stroke the lips downward with the right index finger. (or 'R' finger.)
Up Reduce With palms facing, the right hand is held above the left. The right hand moves slowly down toward the left, but does not touch it.
Up Reflect The right 'R' fingers, held up, touch the outstretched left palm, and move forward slowly and deliberately. The signer may cause the right hand to tremble slightly as it moves forward.
Up Refuse
The right 'A' hand, palm facing left, moves up sharply to a position above the right shoulder.
Up Regret
(apologize, apology, regretful, sorrow, sorry)
The right 'S' hand, palm facing the body, is rotated several times over the area of the heart.
Up Regular Both 'D' hands are held with index fingers pointing forward, the right hand above the left. The right 'D' hand is brought down on the left several times in rhythmic succession as both hands move forward.
Up Relax
With palms facing the body, the arms are folded across the chest.
Up Remember The right fingertips are placed on the forehead. The 'A' hands are held with palms toward the body, thumbs extended and touching, the right behind the left. In this position the hands move forward in a straight, steady line, or straight down.
Up Remove
(deduct, eliminate, subtract)
The right 'A' hand, resting in the palm of the left '5' hand, moves slightly up and away, describing a small arc. It is then cast down, opening into the '5' position, palm down, as if removing something from the left hand and casting it down.
Up Rent
(noun & verb)
The extended right index finger moves down along the upturned extended left index finger. This movement is repeated several times.
Up Repair what was said
(grammatical device in ASL)
The right index finger is brought firmly up against the tightly closed lips. The eyes may be closed and the head may shake slightly. The English phrase here may be "Excuse me, I didn't mean that", "Let me correct myself". Also know as "repairs" in ASL grammar.
Up Repeat
(repeated, repeating, again)
The left hand, open in the '5' position, palm up, is held before the chest. The right hand, in the right-angle position, fingers pointing up, arches over and into the left palm.
Up Repeatedly The sign for "repeat" is made several times.
Up Replace The right 'A' hand, positioned above the left, swings down and under the left, coming up a bit in front of it.
Up Request Both hands, held upright about a foot in front of the chest, with palms facing and fingers pointing straight up, are positioned about a foot apart. Moving toward the chest, they come together until they touch, as if in prayer.
Up Resign
(quit, withdraw)
The index and middle fingers of the right 'H' hand are grasped by the left hand. The right hand pulls out of the left.
Up Responsibility The fingertips of both hands, placed on the right shoulder, bear down.
Up Resumé Both 'R' hands trace the top and sides of an imaginary piece of paper.
Up Retire With the thumb tucked in the armpit, the remaining fingers of both hands wiggle.
Up Ridiculous
(foolish, nonsense, silly)
The right 'Y' hand, thumb almost touching the forehead, is shaken back and forth across the forehead several times.
Up Right
(all right, OK, you're welcome)
The right hand, fingers together and palm facing left, is placed in the upturned left palm, whose fingers point away from the body. The right hand slides straight out along the left palm, over the left fingers, and stops with its heel resting on the left fingertips.
Up Right
(adjective and adverb)
The right 'R' hand moves toward the right.
Up Right
The right index finger, held above the left index finger, comes down rather forcefully so that the bottom of the right hand comes to rest on top of the left thumb joint.
Up Road Both hands, palm facing and fingers together and extended straight out, move in unison away from the body, in a winding manner.
Up Rob
(verb-to steal)
The right open hands, palm down, is held under the left elbow. Beginning with the little finger, the right hand closes finger by finger into the 'A' position, as if wrapping itself around something, and moves to the right.
Up Room The open hands, palms facing and fingers pointing out, are dropped an inch or two simultaneously. They then shift their relative position so that both palms face the body, with one hand in front of the other. In this new position they again drop an inch or two simultaneously.
Up Roomy The 'S' hands, palms facing, are positioned at chest height. As the elbows move apart the palms move down.
Up Rude The tips of the curved right fingers trace imaginary ridges over the upright left palm, from the base of the hand to the fingertips. The action is repeated several times.
Up Rug The right 'R' hand is placed on the upturned left palm, with the right thumb underneath the left hand. The right hand moves straight forward from the heel.
Up Ruin
The left '5' hand, palm up, is held slightly above the right '5' hand, held palm down. The right hand swings up, just brushing over the left palm. Both hands close into the 'S' position, and the right is brought back with force to its initial position, striking a glancing blow against the left knuckles as it returns.
Up Rule
(noun & verb)
The 'A' hands, palms facing, move alternately back and forth, as if resting and manipulating reins. The left 'A' hand, still in position, swings over so that its palm now faces down. The right hand opens to the '5' position, palm down, and swings over the left, which moves slightly to the right.
Up Run The open left hand is held pointing out, palm down. The open right hand is held beneath it, facing up. The right hand is thrown forward rather quickly so the palm brushes repeatedly across the palm of the left.
Up Run away The right index finger is held pointing upward between the index and middle fingers of the prone left hand. From this position the right index finger moves to the right, slipping out of the grasp of the left fingers and away from the left hand.

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ASL Numbers 1-10 | ASL Alphabet

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