BROTHER. Bring tips of extended and touching first and second fingers of right hand against lips, fingers horizontal, back up, carry hand straight out from mouth, then make sign for MAN.
BROTHER-IN-LAW. Cross arms on breasts, left arm inside, hands extended, then strike downwards in front with right hand.
BROOK. Make the sign for RIVER and SMALL.
BROWN. Make the sign for COLOR, then point to something BROWN.
BRUSH. Hold the hands as for GRASS, but with arms extended outward from the waist.
BUFFALO (meaning: horns of buffalo). Bring partly closed hands, palms inward, close to sides of head. Raise hands slightly until wrists are on edges of head, and carry slightly forward.
BUFFALO ROBE. Make sign for BUFFALO and for BLANKET.
BURN. Make the sign for FIRE. Then indicate what was burned or injured by the fire. If entirely consumed add WIPED OUT.
BURY. Make the signs for BLANKET, WRAP and DIG.
BUT. Make the sign for PERHAPS.
BUY. Make sign for MONEY and for EXCHANGE.
BY AND BY. Make the sign for FUTURE, advancing the right hand past and beyond the left hand. Some Indians make the sign for WAIT.
BY ITSELF. Hold extended right hand in front of right breast, with back down and fingers pointing to front; by wrist action strike the hand to left and towards body with a jerk, repeating two or three times. This is a metaphoric idiom used with other gestures. A gift with this sign becomes a "free gift." No gift expected in return. It also means FREEDOM, ALONE and SOLITARY.
CACHE. Make the sign for HIDE.
CALL OR CALLED. This is an important and much used sign. Use right hand with thumb touching index. Then snap out index finger as in word TALK, but continue extending index. This is used for "Question you called"-meaning, "what are you called" or "what is your name."
CAMP. Make the sign for TEEPEE. Then with arms held about horizontal in front of body form with thumbs and indexes an incomplete circle, tips 1 inch apart. Lower the hands briskly few inches by elbow action.
CAMPFIRE. Make as though gathering something. Then make the signs for WOOD, FIRE, SIT and TALK.
CANDID. Make the sign for TRUE, for DAY and GOOD, indicating openness and clearness like the day, truth and goodness.
CANDLE. Hold left 1 hand in front of left shoulder, index pointing upwards. Make sign for FIRE with right hand pointed at left index and show length of candle on left arm.
CANDY. Make sign for SUGAR. Then hold left index vertically in front of body and with right index indicate stripes on same.
CANNON (meaning: large gun). Make sign for GUN and for LARGE.
CANNOT (meaning: cannot go through, or bounced back). Hold left flat hand edgewise, well out in front of body. Point right index at center of left, then move right index forward until it strikes left palm, then bounces off and down to right.
CANOE. Make sign for BOAT, then with curved right hand held well out in front of body, indicate the curved bow of canoe.
CANYON (also GORGE, DEFILE, CHASM, GAP) (meaning: mountain, both sides). Hold both closed hands in front of face-several inches apart, then, still holding left hand in position, make as though to pass the right hand through the chasm.
CARDS. In nearly closed left hand make as though holding a deck of cards, then with right hand indicate dealing same to several players.
CARTRIDGE. Hold right 1 hand back nearly up, in front of body, index extended horizontally and pointing to front, thumb pressing against side of index, with tip just back of second joint indicating cartridge. Sometimes signs for GUN and SHOOT are also made.
CARRY. Place thumb side of right fist against right shoulder, then thumb side of left fist against right fist--in other words tandem--stoop slightly forward as though carrying a heavy bag or pack.
CAT ( meaning: flat nose). With right thumb and index touching nose, tilt same slightly upwards, also indicate size of animal.
CATCH. Make the sign for TAKE.
CATTLE (meaning: spotted buffalo). Make signs for BUFFALO and SPOTTED.
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Last modified: October 15, 2016.