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American Sign Language: "rat"

To do the sign for "rat," brush your nose twice with an "R" hand.  In context it is possible to do this sign with just an index finger instead of the "R." But lacking context, the "R" hand makes it clear that you mean "rat" and not mouse. 

The sign for "rat" is thus an initialized version of the sign for "mouse."  You will see the sign MOUSE done with either an index finger or a pinkie, but I recommend you stick with the index finger for mouse and the "R" hand for RAT. (Unless your local Deaf or ASL instructor has some other preference).


Note: The sign RAT is also sometimes used to mean "freshman."  This is likely due to the Gallaudet University tradition of giving a rat to incoming freshmen.


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

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