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American Sign Language: "aide" or "assistant"

The sign for "aide" or "assistant" in general uses the dominant "L" hand to lift the base "A" hand. It is also common to see this sign done with both hands in an "A" handshape. If you are right-handed, tap the tip of the thumb of the right "L" hand twice on the bottom of the left "A" hand.

AIDE / ASSISTANT:  ("L-hand" version)

Sample sentence: "Does your teacher have an aide?"


Here is a version of the sign for "aide" or "assistant."  This version is what you would call an "initialized" sign. It uses the initial of the English word "aide" as the handshape for the ASL concept "aide/assistant."   While I think this version is "okay" I don't consider it the "main" version of the sign and I encourage you instead to use the "L" hand version (above).

ASSISTANT (version)


As time goes on it seems to me that I'm seeing more and more people do this sign with an "L" hand using a double tap and no "person" ending.
Why?  Well, one reason is that it takes less effort.  Doing the very small double tap of the "L" hand takes less effort than adding the "person" ending to the "A" hand version.
Another reason, and maybe this is just me -- but doing this sign with an "A" hand on the dominant hand feels weirdly close to doing the sign for "poop." (Sorry, too much information, I know.)

The sign for AIDE / ASSISTANT is based on the sign "HELP."   You could express the concept of "aide" or "assistant" by signing HELP-PERSON which would mean "helper" which is more or less equal in meaning to "assistant."


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