It's not an insult; it's local slang for the Washington Monument
December 15, 2014 11:38 AM   Subscribe

The District of Columbia has many speakers of American Sign Language, given the presence of Gallaudet University and a large Deaf community. Here are a smattering of local signs.
posted by ocherdraco (17 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
I love that the sign for Gallaudet is essentially the "Deal with it" meme.
posted by Etrigan at 11:44 AM on December 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


LOL The Monument. Good times. I am four years old.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:45 AM on December 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


I think I learned the same sign for "America" on the West Coast. It looks more familiar than this.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:47 AM on December 15, 2014


Mostly standard ASL, IIRC. The Washington Monument being a possible exception.

New York too, but that's also widespread
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:49 AM on December 15, 2014


I live a few blocks from Gallaudet. The line for my local burrito place seems to be about 50% people signing to each other. It's pretty amazing how large the deaf community is in this part of DC.
posted by Oxydude at 11:54 AM on December 15, 2014


I wonder what the signs for "johnt" "cised" and "bama" are.
posted by smoothvirus at 12:12 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


I was told by my Deaf ASL instructor that the sign for George W. Bush was grabbing your crotch. I do not know how standard this sign is.
posted by joan cusack the second at 12:28 PM on December 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


Huh, the sign for the monument is also the same for american foreign policy.
posted by kingv at 1:20 PM on December 15, 2014 [6 favorites]


Er, these aren't 'slang.' This is just how ASL works. Get it together WP.
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:20 PM on December 15, 2014


The local slang for Davis, CA (a very bike friendly town) is to make a D with both hands and then pedal your hands like a bike.
posted by sacrifix at 1:33 PM on December 15, 2014 [6 favorites]


Lutoslawski: Er, these aren't 'slang.' This is just how ASL works. Get it together WP.

The article says that it's not the "official" sign for the Washington Monument. Ergo, that makes the depicted "salute" slang. It's like if I called it the Giant Marble Penis of America, as did 80% of everyone else in a particular area, it would still be referred to as slang because it has an actual name that isn't "the Giant Marble Penis of America".
posted by surazal at 2:09 PM on December 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


"See that? Pull that out, America deflates." (In the Loop)
posted by dhartung at 3:07 PM on December 15, 2014


Would it sort of generally translate to something similar to "Giant Marble Penis of America"? If flipping the bird means something like "dick" and that motion means something like "tall", then I could see it being a similar ASL version of basically the same joke, right?
posted by NoraReed at 4:17 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


i may just have gotten the joke everyone else got and then explained it
posted by NoraReed at 4:20 PM on December 15, 2014 [9 favorites]


NoraReed: Would it sort of generally translate to something similar to "Giant Marble Penis of America"? If flipping the bird means something like "dick" and that motion means something like "tall", then I could see it being a similar ASL version of basically the same joke, right?

The ASL sign for "erection" is very similar to the sign given for the Washington Monument in the link, minus the middle finger
posted by surazal at 4:48 PM on December 15, 2014


The local slang for Davis, CA (a very bike friendly town) is to make a D with both hands and then pedal your hands like a bike.

I have taken sign languages classes in this town twice and that never came up!!!!
(We're such nerds.)
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:40 PM on December 15, 2014


The line for my local burrito place seems to be about 50% people signing to each other.

I was gentrified out of the neighborhood about a year ago. I miss Gallaudet and Chinito's.... Kind of cool to see that almost every business in the neighborhood has ASL-fluent staff these days...
posted by schmod at 10:45 PM on December 15, 2014


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