American Sign Language Signs for Food

Signs for Common Foods and Drinks

Knowing American Sign Language (ASL) signs for food can help you communicate with those who use that language. This is helpful in many different situations, including food service, retail, and socializing with those who communicate through ASL. The signs may be different depending where you live as there are sign language dialects.

Sign for Apple

Apple Sign
Jamie Berke

To make the sign for apple, make a screwing motion on your cheek with your index finger in the X letter shape. As you are screwing your cheek, turn the X finger on your cheek.

Sign for Banana

Jamie Berke

To make the sign for banana, use the index finger to represent the banana. Then peel the banana using the other hand's thumb and index finger.

Sign for Bread

Jamie Berke

To make the sign for bread, make a slicing motion with four fingers on the back of the other hand, moving along the hand. This symbolizes the sliced loaf of bread.

Sign for Cake

Jamie Berke

To make the sign for cake, make a lifting motion of a piece of cake from the other hand.

Sign for Carrot

Carrot Sign
Jamie Berke

Think of the character Bugs Bunny eating a carrot. Make a fist, and move it towards and away from your mouth as if you were eating a carrot.

Sign for Cookies

Jamie Berke

To make the sign for cookies, move a C letter hand on the open palm as if making cookies using a mold.

Sign for Corn

Move the index finger across, rotating the finger as if you were eating corn.

Sign for Drink

Jamie Berke

The sign for drink is one of the simplest signs. Just tilt a C letter hand upwards as if drinking from a cup.

Sign for Eat

Jamie Berke

To make the sign for eat, move the partially closed hand towards the mouth and repeat.

Sign for Eggs

To make the sign for eggs, cross the index and middle fingers of each hand over each other, then bring them apart. This symbolizes the cracking of eggs.

Sign for Fish

A fish sign is easy to make. Just position your hand as if it was a fish about to start swimming. Then move your hand as if the fish was swimming in the water.

Sign for Fruit

Jamie Berke

To make the sign for fruit, put the F handshape on the cheek, and twist it forward.

Sign for Grapes

To make the sign for grapes, take a slightly bent hand and move it down the back of the other hand, bouncing along. This mimics the grapes on the vine.

Sign for Lemon

To make the sign for lemon, touch the L handshape to the cheek, and move the index finger downwards.

Sign for Milk

The sign for milk is one of the easiest signs to make. Just open, then close a fist and squeeze as if milking a cow. No wonder it is one of the first signs babies learn.

Sign for Nuts

Jamie Berke

To make the sign for nuts, place the thumb at the teeth and move outwards. This probably represents the opening of the shell of a nut.

Sign for Orange

Jamie Berke

To make the sign for orange, open and close a fist near the chin. This mimics the squeezing of an orange.

Sign for Peas

Peas Sign
Jamie Berke

When making the sign for peas, think about peas lined up inside a pea pod. The index finger and thumb snap together, moving along and removing the peas from the pod.

Sign for Pie

To sign pie, you slice the pie with your open hand on top of the other open hand.

Sign for Potato

To sign potato, put the index and middle fingers together, hovering over a fist. Then touch the index and middle finger to the back of the hand.

Sign for Pumpkin

To make the sign for pumpkin, touch the thumb and middle finger together on top of the outstretched hand.

Sign for Salt

To make the sign for salt, tap the index and middle fingers of one hand with the index and middle fingers of the other hand. This mimics the sprinkling of salt.

Sign for Turkey

Move the Q handshape from side to side to imitate the fleshy growth (wattle) under a turkey's beak.

Sign for Vegetable

To make the sign for vegetable, put the V hand on the face near the mouth, and turn it.

Sign for Watermelon

Watermelon Sign
Jamie Berke

In this example, the sign for watermelon is created by combining the sign for water with the sign for melon. First, the W sign is held to the chin, then the thumb and middle finger flick on the other hand as if flicking off the seeds.

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