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American Sign Language: "cough"

There are at least three ways to do the sign for "cough."  In my opinion, neither is more correct than the other. Personally I do version 1. My friend Roy tends to do version 2.

COUGH:  Version 1:

Animation: Cough:


COUGH (version 2)


Animation: Cough Version 2


COUGH (version 3)
or "cough cough"


Animation:  COUGH Version 3

Note:  Version 3, the one where you hit your chest with the thumb-side of your fist a couple times, is sometimes used as a snarky comment to mean that a thing is of questionable quality.
If you tell people about your wonderful new idea or your cool new purchase and someone in the group looks at someone else or rolls his eyes and signs "cough cough" -- it means you might want to curb your enthusiasm a bit.

An interesting example of this derogatory meaning is shown in how the "COUGH COUGH" sign has mutated into a joke sign for Walmart wherein a person touches a W to his or her chin (as if doing the sign for WATER) and then moves the hand down and strikes the chest with an "M" similar to how how a person might strike their chest if they were coughing. For Wal-Mart just use a single movement. Also see: CHEAP

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

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