JEALOUS (meaning: elbowing to one side). Hold closed hands near right and left breasts; move right elbow a little to right and rear, then left elbow a little to left and rear. Repeat.
JOKE. Hold right hand with back down, in front of mouth, fingers separated, partly curved and pointing forward; move hand to front and upwards. This is a recognized Indian sign, but not in general use.
JOYOUS. Make signs for HEART and GLAD.
JUMP. Hold compressed right hand, with back to right, close to right shoulder, fingers pointing to front; move hand to front, upwards, over, and down in vertical curve.
JUNIOR. For persons or officers this is generally indicated as in INFERIOR. The tip of one index lower than the other, the distance determining the difference in rank.
KEEP. With right hand grasp left index firmly and move hands slightly to right and left.
KEEP CLOSE. Make the signs for GOOD and CLOSE.
KEEP QUIET. Make sign for HALT, and repeat; then by lowering the hand gently the meaning would be, "Fear not," "Do not be anxious," etc.
KETTLE. Form an incomplete circle as in ISLAND; then with left hand in position, carry partially-closed right hand across and down over imaginary kettle, making motion as though about to lift it by the handle.
KILL. Bring right hand in front of right shoulder, hand nearly closed; strike to front downwards and a little to left, stopping hand suddenly with slight rebound.
KINSHIP (meaning: near or distant from one source). Bring tips of extended, touching first and second fingers of right hand against lips, as in sign for BROTHER; then make the sign for CLOSE or DISTANT, as relationship may be.
KNIFE (meaning.: cutting a piece of meat, held with the left hand and with teeth). Hold right flat hand close to face, lower edge just over mouth; move the hand upwards and to left two or three times, as if trying to cut with lower edge of hand. Sometimes left hand is held in front of and a little higher than right, as though holding meat.
KNOW. Hold right hand, back up, close to left breast; sweep hand outwards and slightly upwards turning hand by wrist action until palm nearly up; thumb and index extended, other fingers closed, thumb and index horizontal, index pointing nearly to left, thumb pointing to front.
KNOW NOT. Make the sign for KNOW, then open hand and sweep it to the right, making the sign NO.
LAKE (meaning: water and shape). Make sign for WATER; then with thumbs and index fingers make an incomplete horizontal circle with space of one inch between tips; then swing wrists together, tips of indexes apart.
LAME (meaning: limping motion of animals). Hold closed right hand, palm down, one foot in front of right breast; move hand slightly to front, and by wrist action bend the hand downwards and to left, repeating motion.
LAND. Push both flat hands toward the ground, then spread them sideways.
LARGE. Make the sign for BIG, and if very big, add sign for HIGH.
LASSO. Make sign for ROPE; then make as though to swing and throw same forward; then draw the hand back quickly as though catching the animal.
LAST. Bring right and left indexes together well out to left of body, representing a race; then pull right hand away back, representing last in the race.
LAST YEAR. Make the signs for WINTER and BEYOND.
LAUGH. Hold both 5 hands partly closed, in front of both breasts, palms up; then move them up and down.
LAW. Make the sign for TRUE.
LEAD (to) (meaning: leading, a pony with lariat). Hold closed right hand, back to right, in front, close to and a little higher than right shoulder; move the hand to front by gentle jerks.
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Last modified: August 20, 2012.