Gray, Cheat, Early, Watch, Outside | Regional Signs

Blog post has been expanded to explain the signs.

Hello, I’m Rogan and welcome to a new Regional Signs! I know, it’s been a while. If you’re new here, this series is where I find different signs across the country that aren’t common and usually are used only in a specific region.

How does this work? If in the previous video, I missed something in the signs I tell you, and I’m told in the comments, I will add at the beginning of this video. That’s first, then the list for today. With the list, I will first tell you the common sign, then the regional sign(s). Now, I’m not all-knowing. I may say that this sign is from that region, but oh it’s actually used in other regions too. The reason why I tell you here, is because I don’t see it often. Of course, I will link in places the previous videos, so you can watch and learn all the different signs! Let’s get started.

In the previous video, I told you several signs for pickle: fingerspelling it, a P in a twisting motion on the chin, a P twisting on the neck, and a G handshape touching the side of the mouth then moving away and shaking.

One I missed is from Iowa, two G handshapes moving back and forth, the tips of the fingers touching.

First new sign today, gray. Common: 5-handshape moving back and forth, the fingers passing through each other.

This sign is from Rochester: the index and pinkie are extended, the thumb holding the other fingers down. The index finger slides down the chin twice, with the hand oriented palm outwards.

Second, cheat. Common: The non-dominant hand is held in a flat hand, while the dominant hand has the thumb, index, and middle finger extended. The dominant hand taps the non-dominant hand twice, between the index and middle finger. It looks like a bit like when scissors wins over paper in a game of rock-paper-scissors.

Many areas use this one, but it’s less common: the dominant hand with the index and pinky fingers extended, thumb holding the other fingers down, rubbing in a repeating downward motion on the forearm near the elbow.

The third sign is much less common, and it’s a very specific use. I don’t see it often now. It’s literally the sign for dirty, but signed directly under the nose rather than under the chin. This is more of like, a really dirty person, a big cheater. Cheat!

Third, early. We have several. Common: The non-dominant hand is held in a fist, the dominant hand has all fingers spread, and swipes the middle finger across the back of the fist. The swipe is typically done moving from furthest side to nearest side, but the reverse is also correct.

Another fairly common one: quite literally, E-A-R-L-Y. It’s fingerspelled, but with flair added, moving in a circle while spelling it out.

We have a couple more regional signs, but I don’t remember which regions they’re from. So if you know, leave it in the comments!

One is the dominant hand in a 3-handshape, touching the forehead and moving away quickly. It’s similar to rooster, but rooster is tapping twice and ending with touching the forehead, early touches the forehead once and moves away.

The other has a similar motion to the first sign, the dominant hand doing a swipe with the middle finger. However, it’s swiping on the nose, starting at the top and going to the tip of the nose.

Fourth, watch. I don’t mean as in wristwatch. Common: the dominant hand in a V-handshape, moving in a short forward motion, like eyes looking at something.

The two signs I’m about to show you, the first one is more common, and the second is region-specific. Both of them are more specific to watching TV, watching a screen, not watch in general. It’s more specific to screens, that’s my observations from people’s use of these signs.

First, the dominant hand held horizontal with the palm facing your body. All fingers are closed except for the index and thumb. The index is hooked and the thumb is fully extended. The motion is the same as the first sign, a short forward motion.

Second, I think this is the Southwest? I know for sure Texas, but maybe the Southwest as well? The dominant hand has all the fingers spread out in a relaxed claw handshape, palm facing out. The back of the hand is tapped on the chin twice.

Fifth, and last, outside. Common: the dominant hand starting in a 5-handshape and moving away from the body while bringing the fingers together. The motion is repeated twice.

This regional sign is specific to the Upper Midwest, Minnesota, Michigan: it’s literally signed the same way as boss is, with the dominant hand in a claw tapping the shoulder.

That’s it for today! I hope you enjoyed and learned something new. Let me know if anything is wrong or you want to add another sign in the comments. I will add or correct in the next video, and hopefully that video won’t be as long in coming!

Published by Rogan Shannon

Hello there! I'm Rogan, a queer deaf guy who has a passion for leadership and advocacy. I create YouTube videos about a lot of different topics - being deaf, queer, reading, language, and whatever else interests me!

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