Gesture Dictionary – U to Z

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

unity
hlanganani (Z)
Hands, with fingers splayed and palms towards gesturer, move towards each other so fingers cross and out again.

urinate
six nine (Is)
First finger waved in front of crotch.

volume (Turn down/up the volume)
Hafola/Phahamisa (S)
Hand as if holding dial and turned anticlockwise/clockwise.

vomit
gabha (Z)
First and second finger move in and out towards mouth.

wait
Ema (S)
Hand held up at face height with palm away from gesturer and fingers splayed.

walk/go
hamba (Z) tsamaya (S)
First and second finger imitate walking action.

wash [oneself]
splasha (Is)
Hands do action of splashing water on face.

wash [clothes]
washa (Z)
Fists, one facing up and the other facing down, are rubbed together.

wristwatch
iwashi (Z)
Second finger and thumb grasp wrist.
write/pen
skryfa/pene (Is)
First finger and thumb held as if holding a pen and hand makes action of writing.
yes
Ya (Z)
Head nods.
you
wena (Z) (S)
First finger points outwards.

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