A student asks: "When you have a moment, I’d like to run something past
you. According to one of my ASL dictionaries, the sign for “farm” and “farmer”
is the same as the sign for “sloppy” and “bum.” This seems quite disrespectful
to me and I was wondering if you know how this sign came about. I appreciate how
hard farmers work (especially in the past when there was no modern equipment).
It just seems odd to me that a culture who fought (and still fights) for respect
would choose to refer to another “culture” in a manner that (appears)
disrespectful. Or am I completely off-base on this?
- Name on file
While there are some similarities between the signs "FARM" and "SLOPPY" -- these
are definitely two different signs. The movement of the sign for SLOPPY
has a "flinging" motion at the end of the sign as if flinging slop from your
hand. Whereas the sign for "FARM" ends after it crosses the chin.
Additionally the facial expression is much different between the two signs.
SLOPPY uses a disgusted or sometimes careless facial expression (depending on
the connotation of the sign).