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Learn to Sign ASL: Colors in American Sign Language

By Heather Marie Kosur

The following article describes the signs for the ten basic colors in American Sign Language that signers who use ASL as their primary means of communication must learn. Each color includes a description of the sign as well as the SignWriting for the sign.

Red

SignWriting Red Begin with the right hand formed in fist with the index finger pointed straight. Place the right index finger on the face between the lips and the nose. Then move the right index finger down the lips to the chin until the right hand makes an X of the sign language alphabet.

Orange

SignWriting Orange Begin by forming the letter C of the sign language alphabet with the right hand. Hold the right hand in front of the mouth. Then form the right hand into the letter S of the sign language alphabet. Switch between the letter C and the letter S several times.

Yellow

SignWriting Yellow Begin by forming the letter Y of the sign language alphabet with the right hand. Hold the right hand in front of the right armpit at chest level. Shake the right wrist back and forth while moving the right hand to the right.

Green

SignWriting Green Begin by forming the letter G of the sign language alphabet with the right hand. Hold the right hand in front of the right armpit at chest level. Shake the right wrist back and forth while moving the right hand to the right.

Blue

SignWriting Blue Begin by forming the letter B of the sign language alphabet with the right hand. Hold the right hand in front of the right armpit at chest level. Twist the right arm back and forth at the elbow without moving the wrist.

Purple

SignWriting Purple Begin by forming the letter P of the sign language alphabet with the right hand. Hold the right hand in front of the right armpit at chest level. Twist the right arm back and forth at the elbow without moving the wrist.

Pink

SignWriting Pink Begin by forming the letter P of the sign language alphabet with the right hand. Place the right index finger on the face between the lips and the nose. Then move the right index finger down the lips to the chin until the right index finger rests on the chin. Repeat.

Black

SignWriting Black Begin with the right hand in a fist with the index finger held straight. Place the right index finger on the left side of the forehead. Move the right index finger from the left to the right side of the forehead.

White

SignWriting White Begin with the right hand on the chest with the palm facing the chest. Then move the fingers in and together so that the fingertips rest on the chest.

Brown

SignWriting Brown Begin by forming the letter B of the sign language alphabet with the right hand. Place the right index finger on the right cheek with the palm of the right hand facing towards the left. Move the right hand down the right side of the face from the top of the cheek to the chin.

Printable Downloads

The accompanying printable vocabulary sheet of colors in American Sign Language is available for download at ASL Colors Vocabulary Sheet and the accompanying printable ASL flashcards at Sign Language Flashcards: ASL Sign Language Colors.