Sam the Deaf

Adult Swim finger-spelling bump

General, I'm Deaf, Media

To see in QuickTime for clear frame to frame. Click here.

Friend of mine brought an interest video clip that been pick up from Adult Swim under Cartoon Network. It show the most speed-up finger-spelling. Whoa, it’s too fast for most of us to read it. So, I made the copy and put on QuickTime to study on each frame to frame to find the actual finger-spelling. However, there are few finger-spelling aren’t the common America Sign Language in Alphabet we know. Of course, it doesn’t follow on what the subtitle appear. I tried to make my own guess what I see and write it down.

i f you read f ? i s w e r e 1 u e s i h 1 you re h o f realy deaf b u f [Y with motion of L] u s f a sad c l o w h w i f ? i h f e r h e f a h d f o ? u c ? f i ? e o h your ? a h d s

It doesn’t sound right, which it’s pretty mess. There are some finger-spells, I couldn’t figure it out. For example there is the sign like “hook-em” from Texas Longhorn. I thought maybe the creator from Adult Swim must have pick up from the internet. For second thought, it should be “bullshit” since it’s one of actual sign language. No, it doesn’t sound right which need to be one letter somehow. Probably, it’s one of random foreign sign language.

Fortunately, my friend, Eddie Bart have already figure it out. Whoa, I always wonder what he got the answer. What the message actual turn out.


That’s shock as I feel like they’re insult me. How amusing. But the question is… How Eddie got these weird finger-spell figured out? He explained that he started with what he know and figure out missing blanks. Like “IFYOUREAD” become “IF YOU’RE AD” then that doesn’t make sense. So change to “IF YOU READ” then that make sense. “IF YOU READ __ __ I S” he guessed that it is THIS, so the weird handshape mean T and H, not F and bullshit.

But where did the weird fingerspelling come from? He doesn’t know, none of my friends who saw videoclip knows. We have theory that there are some can be found from Rochester Method and random foreign sign language that pick up by the creator and end up into message and post on television show. One person said it is from Costa Rica sign language. My guess is German sign language. Eddie point out 7 finger-spell handshape that don’t match ASL.



F and T are very tricky as you can see two different where thumb and index finger take place front and back. Yet, it been use most in Europe. M is one clue can be found from Polish. Y with L in motion is weird and yet it’s actual J. G that once thought it was 1 but you can see there is thumb which isn’t same as “One” in sign language. I have no idea why it been random or from the ancient alphabet finger-spell.

Are you familiar with any finger-spell? Can you tell me which it actually come from? Someone think it may be from Rochester Method, unfortunately, no video or image can be found. Unless, we miss one through engine search.

UPDATE: That finger-spell is from LSF (French Sign Language). Thank Lee!

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  • Wow! What a fantastic find, and excellent reporting!

    I am very curious what you know about these handshapes. Yes, this video is somewhat insulting and also intriguing too.

    These seven handshapes are definitely not ASL, it could be from Philippines?

    I am not too sure about Rochester Method…

    Amy Cohen Efron

  • Lee

    Those 7 handshapes are part of the ABC’s in LSF (French Sign Language).

    I learned the ABC’s in LSF when I was in high school.

  • wow, thank Lee. that’s answer I look for.

  • dog food

    yeah, lee’s right; its LSF. obviously a hearing tool picked this up and thought it was american.

  • dog food, I believe the creator may make right choice to use to avoid give the bad language. I learn about Adult Swim that been spread to many country. Who know?