Gesture Dictionary – C

Journal of Linguistic Anthropology Number 14 Issue 2

A Repertoire of South African Quotable Gestures
Heather Brookes


Gesture Dictionary
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


cap
kepisi (S)
Forefinger and thumb touch each other in front of the forehead.

car
transi (Is)
Fist held up and out in front and moved sideways left and right a few times.

cards
amacardi (Z) dicards (S)
Palm held up with fingers curved. Fingers of other hand are drawn across the palm perpendicularly to the fingers.

child
ntwana (Is)
Fingers of one hand are brought together at the tips pointing upwards.

chop [change the engine number of a stolen car]
kokotela (Is)
Fist with knuckle of first finger protruding points downwards and moves up and down from the wrist towards the other hand. Forefinger and thumb of this hand make a circle. Remaining fingers of this hand hold the same curve as the first finger.

clever {perception}
clever (Is)
Hand with first and fourth fingers extended pointing towards the eyes moving sideways back and forth at a slight angle across the face. Sometimes pointed away from the gesturer.

cock [a gun]
bridga (Is)
Thumb and forefinger hold first and second fingers of other hand and move back towards thumb.

cold (I’m cold)
Ho a batha (S)
Hands rub opposite upper arms.

.

come here
Zwakala (Is)
Hand curved moves towards gesturer

con (She/he is conning)
Uyashayashaya (Is)
Hands, one in front of the other and parallel to torso, rotate round each other a few times.

Congratulations/Well done
Shine (S) (Z)
Hand with fingers slightly splayed held up at head height and rotated slightly from the wrist.

cook
pheka (Z)
Hand as if holding a spoon, is moved in a circle.

crazy (She/he is crazy)
Uyasika/ringtinta (Is)
Forefinger points towards head and rotates.

cry
heyla (Is)
First and fourth fingers are drawn from the eyes down the face.

cut
hlepula (Z)
Side of hand tapped across palm of other hand

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