STORY|by Hopes&Fears·1291 views

Internet Slang Meets American Sign Language

As language evolves, the powers that regulate language tend to shift. That also concerns sign language, where changes in lexicon are not as easy as in spoken languages. Take a look at how popular terms are shown in English sign language.


PHOTOBOMB [verb] – to spoil a photograph of (a person or thing) by unexpectedly appearing in the camera’s field of view as the picture is taken, typically as a prank or practical joke

EMOJI [noun] – a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication

SELFIE [noun] – informal. A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media

DUCK FACE [noun] – an exaggerated pouting expression in which the lips are thrust outwards, typically made by a person posing for a photograph

SCREENCAP [noun] – a screenshot or screen grab

SMH [abbreviation] – informal shaking (or shake) my head (used in electronic communication to express disapproval, exasperation, frustration, etc.)

FOOD COMA [noun] – state of sleep or extreme lethargy induced by the consumption of a large amount of food

FIVE-SECOND RULE – notional rule stating that food which has been dropped on the ground will still be uncontaminated with bacteria and therefore safe to eat if it is retrieved within five seconds

ONESIE [none] – a loose-fitting one-piece leisure garment covering the torso and legs