9 colors in sign language

Colors in Sign Language (ASL lesson)

In this lesson you’ll learn how to sign 9 colors in American Sign Language:

  • Green: take your G-hand for green and flick it a couple of times in front of your chest.
  • Orange: take your fist and squeeze it around your chin as if you’re squeezing an orange. This is also the sign for the actual fruit orange so they’re both the same.
  • Pink: because your lips can be pink or red, pink is signed by pulling down the middle finger from the k-hand twice from your lip.
  • Purple: take your P-hand for purple and then shake it in front of you.
  • Yellow: take your Y-hand in front of your chest and move it to the right and shake it a bit.
  • Black: take your index finger and wipe your eyebrows.
  • Blue: take your B-hand and shake/twist it in front you yourself.
  • Red: take your index finger and put it to your lip and pull it down. You can sort of think about it as if you’re pointing to the color of your lips.
  • White: put your palm to your chest first and then pull out making a pinching motion.

Want to learn more basic signs

Using classifiers in Color Signs

One of the most common ways to sign colors in ASL is through the use of classifiers. Classifiers are handshapes that represent objects or ideas, and they are used to show how objects move or interact with each other in space. To sign a color using a classifier, you might use a handshape that represents the shape or size of the object that is the color you are trying to express. For example, to sign the color yellow, you might use a classifier handshape that represents the shape of a yellow ball or a yellow flower. You would then move this handshape in a way that represents the movement or position of the yellow object.

The use of descriptive signs in Color Signs

Another way to sign colors in ASL is through the use of descriptive signs. Descriptive signs use a combination of handshapes, movements, and facial expressions to describe a characteristic of an object. To sign a color using a descriptive sign, you might use a handshape that represents the first letter of the color, such as the letter “R” for red or the letter “B” for blue. You would then move this handshape in a way that conveys the character of the color, such as the warmth or intensity of red or the coolness of blue.

Some colors have specific signs in ASL that are widely recognized within the Deaf community. For example, the sign for the color black involves placing your non-dominant hand in front of your body and using your dominant hand to make a downward motion, representing the darkness or absence of light. Similarly, the sign for the color white involves using your dominant hand to make a circular motion in front of your body, representing the brightness or purity of the color.

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It is important to note that ASL is a visual language, and the signs for colors are based on visual concepts rather than spoken language. This means that the signs for colors may vary from region to region, and there may be different signs for the same color in different sign languages.

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ColorASL Sign Description
RedHold the right hand in a loose fist with the thumb extended, then move it forward from the mouth area, ending with the thumb pointing down.
BlueHold the right hand in a loose fist with the pinky extended, then move it forward from the forehead area, ending with the pinky pointing down.
GreenHold both hands in front of the body, palms facing each other. Move the hands back and forth while keeping them apart, as if showing the growth of a plant.
YellowHold the right hand in a loose fist with the index finger extended, then move it forward from the chin area, ending with the finger pointing up.
OrangeHold the right hand in a loose fist with the index and pinky fingers extended, then move it forward from the mouth area, ending with the fingers pointing down.
PurpleHold both hands in front of the body, palms facing each other. Cross the hands at the wrists, then move them apart while keeping the palms facing each other.
BlackHold the non-dominant hand out in front of the body, palm facing up. Bring the dominant hand down from above the non-dominant hand, fingers slightly spread, and tap the palm of the non-dominant hand.
WhiteHold the dominant hand in a loose fist, then move it in a circular motion in front of the body, ending with the palm facing outward.
GrayHold both hands in front of the body, palms facing down. Move the hands back and forth while keeping them together, as if showing the texture of a surface.
PinkHold the right hand in a loose fist with the pinky finger extended, then move it forward from the nose area, ending with the pinky pointing up.
BrownHold both hands in front of the body, palms facing each other. Move the hands up and down while keeping them apart, as if showing the texture of wood.
BeigeHold the right hand in a loose fist with the thumb extended, then move it forward from the forehead area, ending with the thumb pointing down.
TurquoiseHold both hands in front of the body, palms facing down. Move the hands back and forth while keeping them apart, as if showing the texture of water.
LavenderHold both hands in front of the body, palms facing each other. Cross the hands at the wrists, then move them apart while keeping the palms facing each other.
MaroonHold the right hand in a loose fist with the index and middle fingers extended, then move it forward from the forehead area, ending with the fingers pointing down.
GoldHold the right hand in a loose fist with the index and middle fingers extended and the thumb holding down the ring and pinky fingers. Move the hand forward from the chest area, ending with the fingers pointing up.
SilverHold both hands in front of the body, palms facing down. Move the hands back and forth while keeping them together, as if showing the texture of a surface.
Navy blueHold the right hand in a loose fist with the middle finger extended, then move it forward from the forehead area, ending with the finger pointing down.
TealHold both hands in front of the body, palms facing each other. Move the hands back and forth while keeping them apart, as if showing the texture of water.

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