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American Sign Language: "garbage"

The sign for "garbage" is based on the idea of showing a "garbage bag" hanging from your arm (as if you were going around picking up garbage and putting it in your bag).

GARBAGE / trash:

Sample sentence: "Who takes out the garbage at your house?" = YOUR HOUSE, GARBAGE, WHO THROW-out?


THROW-it-away / THROW-it-into-the-trash:

Throw into the garbage:


In a message dated 6/9/2007 3:45:45 PM Pacific Daylight Time, lamarrtodd@ writes:
I am curious, the sign on Lifeprint for metal / steel slides the x hand shape under the chin twice. I saw on another site that this is the sign they use for trash. I was wondering what your sign for trash is?

Dear Todd,
See: Note: The "ASL Browser's" sign for trash or garbage (as of June 9, 2007) is generally considered in other parts of the country to be the sign for "metal."  I think if you ask 10 or more Deaf people in different areas of the country you will find the majority supporting the version at Lifeprint as being fairly "standard."

Additionally, the "ASL Brower's sign for "metal" (as of June 9, 2007) is what "most" Deaf people use as the sign for: "ceramic, porcelain, cement, tooth, dentist, and one of the signs for glass."

Note:  The sign for "garbage" (as of June 9, 2007) shows a combination of "DIRTY" and a classifier depicting a large cylinder--which is obviously intended to mean a "garbage can."   Their sign for "garbage disposal" uses a regionally narrow variation of the sign garbage that is commonly used in many states to mean "LETTUCE or cabbage" followed by a widely accepted sign for disposal-"grind up."

Note: I encourage you to interact with a large number of Deaf people from a wide variety of backgrounds. In doing so you will start to recognize which sign variations are widely used and understood by the largest audience.  As time goes on you keep adding to your own repertoire of variations that you recognize. For example, there is a lesser known (rare) variation of "garbage" that touches an "8" or "F" hand to the nose and then flicks the hand outward while opening up into a "5" hand. 
- Dr. Bill

In a message dated 4/30/2008 5:15:30 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, Rhonda writes:
Hi Dr. Bill,
I was trying to find a sign for "dump". Can't seem to find one anywhere, wondered if you had any ideas.
I have a hearing impaired son who is 8 and we take his spelling words every week and learn the signs for those.
Let me know what you can find.
Thanks a lot,

It depends on what you mean. If you mean, "dump out the contents of a small container" then you would just mime the process.
If I want to say, "I need to go to the dump," the concept of dump would be spelled, for example
I'd sign, "I NEED GO GARBAGE D-U-M-P." 
- Dr. Bill

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