How to Say iPad in American Sign Language (ASL)

When it comes to expressing the word “iPad” in American Sign Language (ASL), you can use various signs depending on the formality and context of your conversation. Here, we will explore both formal and informal ways to say “iPad” in ASL, along with some useful tips and examples.

Formal Ways to Say iPad in ASL

In more formal settings, it is common to use the initialized version of the sign for “iPad.” Initialized signs use the first letter or letters of an English word to create a unique sign. To sign “iPad” formally, follow these steps:

  1. Extend your non-dominant hand in front of your body at chest height.
  2. With your dominant hand in a flat handshape (fingers together and extended), tap the back of your non-dominant hand twice.
  3. After the taps, curve your dominant hand, forming a light fist, and tap the back of your non-dominant hand once more.

This formal sign for “iPad” resembles the act of tapping on a touchscreen device. It is widely recognized in formal ASL settings and is particularly useful in academic or professional environments.

Informal Ways to Say iPad in ASL

In casual or informal situations, ASL users often employ signs that are more concept-based rather than initialized. While there is no specific informal sign for “iPad,” you can describe it using signs that represent its various features. Here’s one way to do it:

  1. Hold both of your hands in front of your chest, palms facing each other.
  2. With your fingers slightly curled and apart, imagine your hands as holding a tablet.
  3. Using both hands, gesture as if you are manipulating the tablet’s screen, showing the action of swiping or tapping on it.

This informal way of signing “iPad” focuses on the recognizable actions associated with using a tablet. It is frequently used in casual conversations among friends and family members.

Additional Tips and Examples

1. Maintaining Eye Contact

In ASL, maintaining eye contact while signing is crucial for effective communication. When signing “iPad,” ensure to glance at the imaginary tablet in your hands or the location where the device would generally be held. This action helps to convey the concept clearly while keeping the conversation engaging.

2. Facial Expressions

Facial expressions play a vital role in ASL, adding meaning and context to signs. When signing “iPad,” display a neutral or slightly interested facial expression, as if interacting with a device. This expression complements the sign and helps convey your message more effectively.

3. Use the Context

The sign for “iPad” becomes clearer when it is used within a sentence or conversation that revolves around technology, devices, or tablets. Ensure that the context provides additional clues to the meaning of the sign. For example:

“Yesterday, I bought a new iPad. It’s so much faster than my old tablet!”

In this example, the mention of “tablet” and comparing the speed suggests the use of an iPad, making it easier for the listener to understand the sign.

4. Adaptation to Regional Variations

ASL can have regional variations, and signs may differ slightly depending on the location. However, the signs mentioned above for “iPad” are widely recognized and used across different regions. If you encounter a specific regional variation, it’s best to observe and adapt to the signing style of the ASL users in your area.


Mastering the various ways to say “iPad” in ASL will enable you to effectively communicate and participate in conversations about technology. Remember to adapt your signing style based on the formality of the situation, maintaining eye contact, using appropriate facial expressions, and leveraging contextual cues. By following these tips and practicing regularly, you’ll enhance your ASL skills and confidently communicate with the Deaf community.

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