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American Sign Language: "wilderness"

The closest sign to "wilderness" is "FOREST."  However, the world wilderness generally means an area without people.  (Or a place that hasn't been influenced much by people.)  So a desert could be a "wilderness."  Thus it may at times be appropriate to use a modified version of the sign EMPTY to show an area empty of PEOPLE.

Slide the sign for tree along the top of the left forearm from left to right.




Francine writes:

"Is there something like a synonym directory?

The reason I am asking is: I watch Bible stories with ASL

At times I do not recognize a sign and try to find what I think it may be with the dictionary which is part of your website.

However, the word/sign I am looking for may not be there. For instance a word like "wilderness".

So, then I start to think of synonyms, but don't find what I am looking for. Would there be a listing where I can find words related to certain signs?

Or a reverse dictionary?

Is there a dictionary where you can fin out what a certain sign is? For instance in the example above, for the word "wilderness", I see the lady signing a W-shape on her cheek, and then tapping her elbow. Does that make the sign for wilderness?

But the question is: is there a way to find out what a sign means by seeing the sign-description of the sign? (I hope you understand what I am asking).

Thank you,

- Francine

Dear Francine,
In the video clip at the link you sent, the signer is doing the sign for EXPERIENCE (on the cheek) and TEMPT (by tapping on the elbow). The sign she uses for wilderness is "FOREST."
You can get a (reverse ASL dictionary) handshape dictionary at:

Dr. Bill


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ASL resources by    Dr. William Vicars

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