Profanity in American Sign Language

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American Sign Language (ASL) the sign language used by the Deaf Community throughout most of North America, has a rich vocabulary of terms which include profanity. Within Deaf culture, there is a distinction drawn between signs used to curse versus signs that are used to describe sexual acts. In usage, signs to describe detailed sexual behavior are highly taboo due to their graphic nature. As for the signs themselves, some signs do overlap, but they may also vary according to usage. For example, the sign for "shit" when used to curse is different than the sign for "shit" when used to describe the bodily function or the fecal matter.



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