Above in Sign Language: Exploring the Depth and Diversity

Have you ever wondered how to express the concept of “above” in sign language? Join us on a fascinating journey as we dive into the world of sign language and uncover the richness and diversity behind the phrase “above in American sign language.” Whether you’re a sign language learner, a member of the Deaf community, a speech and language therapist, or a teacher of the deaf, this blog post will provide valuable insights and tips to enhance your understanding and appreciation of sign language.

Above in Sign Language

What is the Sign for “Above” in Sign Language ASL

In American Sign Language (ASL), “above” is signed by using your non-dominant hand and placing it palm down on a smooth surface. Then, take your dominant hand and position it flat above your non-dominant hand, ensuring that both palms are facing downwards. Now, with a graceful and fluid motion, lift your dominant hand in a half-circular trajectory over your non-dominant hand, moving it towards your mouth in a deliberate yet elegant manner. This elegant movement can be compared to the meticulous process of waxing a car or the precise motion of wiping a table, where attention to detail and finesse are paramount.

Step-by-Step Guide to Signing the Above

  1. Start by placing your non-dominant hand, palm down, on a smooth surface like a table or desk. Ensure that your hand is relaxed and in a comfortable position.
  2. Position your dominant hand flat above your non-dominant hand, making sure both palms are facing downwards. Align your fingers so they are parallel to each other, with a slight space between them.
  3. Lift your dominant hand in a half-circular trajectory over your non-dominant hand, moving it towards your mouth with a fluid and graceful motion. Imagine drawing a gentle arc in the air as you bring your hand closer to your face.
  4. As you reach your mouth, briefly touch your fingertips to your chin, as if you’re capturing the concept of “above” and bringing it closer to yourself. This gesture symbolizes the idea of something being higher or elevated.
  5. Repeat these steps several times to reinforce the sign in your muscle memory. By practicing this motion regularly, you will become more comfortable and fluent in expressing the concept of “above” in sign language.

Cultural Variations in Sign Language

It’s important to note that different countries and regions have their unique sign languages, each with its distinct grammar, vocabulary, and syntax. For instance, British Sign Language (BSL) and American Sign Language (ASL) have differences in how they convey the concept of “above.” In BSL, the sign for “above” involves placing the dominant hand on top of the non-dominant fist in a vertical motion, whereas ASL uses a semi-circular motion. These variations in sign language highlight the rich cultural diversity within the Deaf community and emphasize the need for understanding and appreciating these differences. By acknowledging and learning about the diverse sign languages, we can foster inclusivity and create a more inclusive society for all.

The Power of Facial Expressions and Body Language

In sign language, the artistry of communication lies not only in the hands but also in the power of facial expressions and body language. These elements are the key to conveying meaning and context, adding a layer of depth and nuance to signs. Picture the subtle shifts of the eyebrows, the gentle curve of a smile, and the graceful movements of the body as they gracefully dance through the air, effortlessly expressing emotions, raising questions, and emphasizing important points. It is this fusion of visual elements that transforms sign language into a captivating performance, where every gesture becomes a brushstroke, painting a vivid and expressive picture of communication.


Q1: What is “Above” in ASL?

Above in sign language is represented with a specific hand gesture. To sign ‘Above’, you need to place your dominant hand flat, palm facing down, over your non-dominant hand. The non-dominant hand should be flat, palm facing up. This sign is used to indicate something that is physically or metaphorically above something else.

Q2: Can “Above” in ASl be Used in Different Contexts?

Yes, the sign for “Above” in ASL can be used in various contexts. It can denote physical location, such as an object being above another. It could also be used metaphorically, such as someone being above another in status or authority.

Q3: Is the Sign for “Above” in Sign Language Universal?

While ASL is widely used, sign language is not universal and varies from country to country, region to region. The sign for “Above” in ASL may be different in other sign languages.

Q4: How can I Practice the Sign for “Above”?

Practicing sign language involves repetition and use. You can practice the sign for “Above” by signing it in different contexts or sentences. It’s also helpful to watch native signers use the sign to gain a better understanding of its nuances.

Q5: How Important is Facial Expression When Signing “Above”?

Facial expression plays a crucial role in ASL as it adds meaning to the signed message. While signing “Above”, your facial expression should match the context of your message.


Mastering the sign for “above” in American Sign Language (ASL) enriches our communication skills and brings us closer to the vibrant Deaf community. As we immerse ourselves in the artful dance of hand gestures, body language, and facial expressions, signing becomes more than communication it’s a celebration of cultural diversity and inclusivity. Remember, sign language varies across regions, so embracing these variations deepens our understanding and respect for the global Deaf community. Whether for personal or professional reasons, every sign and gesture connects us to a world that speaks without sound but resonates with profound meaning.

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