Signals for Common Words
Some conventions have also evolved about very common words:
- “A” is signed by steepling index fingers together. Following it with either the stretching rubber band sign or “close, keep guessing!” sign, will often elicit “an” and “and”. (sometimes “and” is signed by pointing at ones palm with the index finger)
- “I” is signed by pointing at one’s eye, or one’s chest.
- “The” is signed by making a “T” sign with the index fingers. The “close, keep guessing!” sign will then usually elicit a rigmarole of other very common words starting with “th”.
- “That” is signed by the same aforementioned “T” with the index fingers and immediately followed by one flattened hand tapping the head for a “hat”, thus the combination becoming “that”. Following this with the “opposite” sign indicates the word “this.”
- Pretending to paddle a canoe can be used to sign the word “or.”
- For “on,” make your index finger leap on to the palm of your other hand. Reverse this gesture to indicate “off.” The off motion plus a scissor-snipping action makes “of”.
- Other common small words are signed by holding the index finger and thumb close together, but not touching.
- Pointing to the ear means “sounds like”.
Reference: Charades – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia