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American Sign Language: "thick"

THICK (substance or quality)
This is a general sign for "thick." It uses a "loose C-hand" (or even a "claw" hand).
Suppose you were telling a story about your grandma's SOUP and you wanted to say it was thick this would be a good sign to use.

THICK (general version: the general quality or state of being thick / especially certain liquid substances, soup, blood, paint, porridge, my wife's makeup, etc.)

Note: The general version of "thick" (above) doesn't just apply to certain types of food or liquid. It is commonly used in situations where a more specific sign won't work. For example I once saw a person use this version to mean "bold" as in "boldface type."

Note: Yes, eventually I'll pay for that comment about my wife's makeup. She'll find out. She always does.

THICK (Two-handed version)

The two-handed version means the same as the one-handed version.  There is no need to use both hands for this sign. But for what it is worth, I recall asking a friend of mine how he would sign "porridge" and he signed THICK SOUP using the two-handed version of THICK.  My point here is that if you see it done with two hands don't think that it is wrong. It is just a variation.

THICK (Version: The thickness of something vertical)

THICK (Version: The thickness of something horizontal)


Relatively thick, fairly thick, or somewhat thick:

The facial expression for the above sign as based on showing a "relatively thick stack of papers." That mouth morpheme you are seeing means "fairly," "relatively," "substantial but not overwhelming."  You might also see it on signs like 'so-so."

In context you can use a CL:C to indicate that the crust on a pizza is a "thick" crust. 
First you indicate that you are talking about "pizza" then you indicate that it is thick.

There are quite a few ways to sign PIZZA.  Do one of them and then sign THICK.
In my example (below) I'm spelling "pizza" using a lexicalized form that overlaps the letters (note the second frame where the "P" and the "I" are both visible at the same time) and uses the "double-Z" (based on a "V" hand moving in a "Z" pattern).
Then I use "C" handshapes to show how thick I want my pizza.  Okay, sure, I'm hamming it up a bit here (because pizza gets me excited and I'm showing you the size I want).  In ASL you've got to get used to using your face or your stories will be boring.

Note: The mouth morpheme for that "deep dish" pizza is "CHA" (as if I'm saying "cha").

Sample sentence:  "Which do you prefer, thick or thin crust pizza?" = "PIZZA THIN-[crust], THICK-[crust], WHICH FAVORITE-[prefer] YOU?"

Note: You could make that sentence even "more" ASL by changing "WHICH PREFER YOU" to "YOU PREFER WHICH YOU?" (or even drop the last YOU)


First you show the blanket, then you indicate that it is thick.
There is more than one way to sign BLANKET, but this is a fairly straight forward version:


Or you can use the general version of thick that jabs a claw hand into the cheek. 
Note: This handshape is NOT an "O." My fingers are actually spread out a bit and my thumb isn't touching my fingers (you just can't see it from the picture.)

Or you can use a specific version that means "THICK-on-me" which could be used to show a thick blanket on top of you, or a thick coat protecting you)


Much of the time the concept of "thick" is expressed with what is known as a "classifier C."  This is sometimes written as "CL:C". 
The "C" handshape can be used to show the size and shape of certain objects.  The "C-hand" is particularly used to show round objects (like a pole), and thickness as in a "thick" layer of snow.



First you establish that you are talking about a book, then you indicate that it is "thick."


Sample sentence: YOUR ASL BOOK CL:C-[thick]? (Is your ASL book thick?)

THICK BICEPS (bulging biceps)

Note: Oh yeah, definitely. That is how I get after a hard day of teaching ASL. I'm still pumped from teaching ASL 1 this morning. BOOYAH!

THICK (less common variation)

I'm not recommending this version to you. I'm simply pointing out that it exists.  A very close friend of mine (Deaf, Deaf-school, married to Deaf, Deaf children, Deaf grandchildren -- you get the picture) does the sign THICK using an upward then outward movement of a modified X-hand (the thumb is sticking out) or it could also be a modified L-hand (the index finger is crooked). The hand moves up toward the mouth and then forward as it gets to about as high as your mouth. (It sort of reminds me of taking a bite out of an apple.)  Anyway, he used this sign when talking about the fact that he takes aspirin because he has "thick" blood.


Also see: THIN

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