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ASL: "anthropology"

There are various ways to sign this concept. 


A popular method of signing anthropology and that is to hold the non-dominant index finger vertical and circle it with the STUDY sign.

ANTHROPOLOGY [study-person-version]



A version of "anthropology" that was fairly common for a significant length of time and that you may still see used in the Deaf community consists of doing a flipping movement of the hand at the forehead. 


Memory aid:  Quite often if you ask someone how to sign "anthropology" they will respond with the sign: I don't know. 

Which is funny since the sign "anthropology" sign looks a lot like the sign for "don't know." The difference is that the sign for "anthropologist" starts an inch or two away from the forehead, and then twists (in the air) and moves backward to touch (or nearly touch) the forehead.




To sign "Anthropologist" just an the "person" sign at the end of anthropology:

This method of adding the "PERSON" sign "ANTHROPOLOGY" to create anthropologist works for either version of anthropology.

Since you are on this page and have read this far it means you like the topic of "anthropology" (ya nerd)* so I'm going to share with you a really cool and funny "joke" sign version that you can use to impress folks with your wit and charm when attending anthropology conventions.  If you show it to your professor you'll most likely get an "A" in class.  If you show it to your boss you will probably get a raise. Definitely worth knowing:


This version is based on
Which gives us:  ANT+THROW+apOLOGY)

* Calling you a nerd is a huge compliment. Sort of like calling you intelligent or smart. (But you already knew that because you are a nerd.)

Also see: "don't-KNOW"
Also see: "STUDY"


Recently while going through comments at my "Signs" channel (over at Youtube) I noticed a comment on one of the versions of a clip of "anthropology."

The person commented:  "Wrong sign. Proper sign several times as "I don't know."

I replied to the person:

A few thoughts for you to consider:
The clips on this channel are intended to be embedded into online lessons where multiple variations are discussed.
The variation of "anthropology" that is similar to the "I don't know" sign can be done either with one single movement or it can be done with two movements.

Over at in variation 2 of "anthropology" you will see the sign anthropology being done using a single movement. (Not a double movement.)

Over at we see Jolanta (Deaf) doing the sign anthropology with a single movement.
Lower down on that page you'll see the variation you suggest.

Over at ASLstem we see an example of anthropology being signed as an "A" hand which changes into a "B" hand using the movement of "don't know" (but again, it is a single not-repeated movement. See:

My point here is that I encourage people to be careful about claiming signs are right or wrong until they have done a bit of research.

In this case I'm quite confident that the version I'm showing (using a single movement) is well-established.

There is also another "emerging" sign for anthropology that I very much like that is based on using the sign STUDY and pointing it at the non-dominant "1" hand then circling the sign STUDY around the non-dominant "1" hand as if to represent "studying of a person."


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