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American Sign Language: "alligator"

To sign "alligator," open and close "curved-five-handshapes" to represent the mouth and teeth of an alligator as it catches its next meal.




"What!?" you say, "Those two signs look exactly alike!" (Except perhaps for the fact that I'm hamming it up in the first version and I'm more straight faced in the second version.)  Well you are right, they ARE the same sign.
Most of us do the same sign for both alligator and crocodile.


Okay, okay, so what could you do if you needed a separate sign for "crocodile?"
What are you? A zoologist?

Suppose you were telling a children's story about an alligator and a crocodile?  You could modify the existing Alligator sign a bit to show a real life difference. Crocodiles have snouts that are more narrow than that of alligators.  So you could change your handshape to be more narrow:

CROCODILE (Modified version, for special circumstances.)

By the way, the sign above is the actual sign for crocodile as used in Argentina.

Someday you might see the Signed English version of "crocodile." 
That version uses "C" handshapes to emphasize that you are referring to a crocodile and not an alligator.  I do not recommend using that version. It is not ASL.

You can learn American  Sign Language  (ASL) online at American Sign Language University
ASL resources by    Dr. William Vicars

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