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SALT: The American Sign Language (ASL) sign for "salt"

I went to a picnic one summer and while sitting around with a few of my friends I held up a salt shaker and asked, "What is your sign for this?"

Five different answers!  One of the oldest and most respected (4th generation Deaf, white hair, married to a Deaf man, has Deaf children, etc.) mimed a shaking movement (as if holding a salt shaker) and mouthed the word "salt."  I kid you not!  Then we all spent another 15 minutes arguing, er, I mean discussing the "right" sign for "salt."  And get this: Everyone at that table was an ASL instructor!


SALT: Version 1 (recommended)



A version of that sign for "salt" doesn't flutter the dominant "V" hand fingers. The two fingers stay in a "V" shape and the movement is in the wrist not the knuckles.  (The movement of the dominant hand is down, up, down. The non-dominant hand doesn't move.)


SALT: Version 2:



Remember, there are a BUNCH of ways to sign salt.  Go with whatever your instructor or local Deaf friends use.


Another version of "salt" uses an V-hand on the dominant hand and an index finger on the non-dominant hand:


SALT (variation)




Okay, so I'm the only person on the planet who likes this version. But I have my reasons. (See story below).

In the pictures above, I'm using just my index finger on my left hand, (remember, my wife (and a zillion other people) use "V" handshapes on both hands.  Not that she is right mind you.  I just put her version above mine as the recommended version because I want to make her happy.

The left (or non-dominant) hand stays stationary.  The right index and middle fingers alternate moving up and down.

As the story goes: 
In the old days, crusty old wayfarers upon sitting down to meat, would stick their knife into the salt jar or bag.  As they withdrew their knife they made sure there was an amount of salt resting on the blade.  They'd hold the knife over their food and tap it with their fingers, knocking the salt off somewhat evenly onto their food.

[What?  You think I'd make something like that up?!?]


Okay now there is a general sign that means "seasoning" in general.  You just mime shaking something on to your food. In context it could mean "salt." Or it could mean pepper. Or it could mean those little jalapeño seeds in the funky little jars on the table at pizza joints.  Or it could mean...well -- you get my point. It depends on "context."  Invite me out for pizza and I'll show you how it works.

SEASONING / sprinkle on / salt:



Notes: Also see: "PEPPER"


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