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FRUGAL:  Form your hands into 5-handshapes with middle fingers bent at the top knuckle.  Each hand moves in a circle toward the chin, touches the chin, and moves downward and then away.  I touch twice with my right hand only only once with the left hand.

Animation:  Frugal

In a message dated 5/5/2005 11:25:16 AM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
Dr. Vicars,

Thank you so much for being a wonderful resource for those of use that want to learn more about ASL.
Recently, had a situation on which I would like clarification:
A man was talking about "freelance" terps and used the sign that is the "middle finger" alternated off the chin....several laughed...his comment was that, freelancers always poor/scatching to make ends that is why the sign is appropriate...i have seen a signed concept close to that for honeymoon.
I have seen and use this sign for "free-lance" interpreter, i am just not sure why this would be funny....because it is closely related to another sign???

John Hancock
That sign means "frugal" or "watching every penny."  It can be used to mean, "just getting by." 
So when applied to "freelance" interpreting, it is a way of saying that freelancers don't get paid much. 
Another similar joke is to sign "freelance" using the sign "BROKE-financially."


frugal vs stingy vs miserly

QUESTION: A Youtuber asks:
For the sign FRUGAL, can it be used for both negative and positive connotations? You use the English words frugal and miserly, which both have the same end meaning (not spending a lot of money), but the nuances are quite important, it can be a compliment or insult. Is the sign the same for both and the nuances rely on facial expression?

The difference between expressing the concept of "frugal" and expressing the concept of "stingy" is in the facial expression used and the context. If you mean "stingy" then use a corresponding "stingy" facial expression and use additional signs such as "MY-MY" and/or a depictive sign such as "to parcel out very small amounts"-[while using a stingy facial expression and mannerism]. To indicate "miserly" you could use a "miserly" (somewhat serious, interested, careful) facial expression and add signs such as CAREFUL.


American Sign Language University ASL resources by Dr. William Vicars
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