A student asks: "When you have a moment, I’d like to run something
past you. According to one of my ASL dictionaries, the sign for “farm” and
“farmer” is the same as the sign for “sloppy” and “bum.” This seems quite
disrespectful to me and I was wondering if you know how this sign came
about. I appreciate how hard farmers work (especially in the past when there
was no modern equipment). It just seems odd to me that a culture who fought
(and still fights) for respect would choose to refer to another “culture” in
a manner that (appears) disrespectful. Or am I completely off-base on this?
- Name on file
While there are some similarities between the signs "FARM" and "SLOPPY" --
these are definitely two different signs. The movement of the sign for
SLOPPY has a "flinging" motion at the end of the sign as if flinging slop
from your hand. Whereas the sign for "FARM" ends after it crosses the
chin. Additionally the facial expression is much different between the
two signs. SLOPPY uses a disgusted or sometimes careless facial
expression (depending on the connotation of the sign).