SMACK in sign language

The English word smack can mean to slap or to make a loud kiss. Big difference, yeah.

ASL signs for "smack"

So, hope you don't sign "slap" for a loud kiss or vice versa. Here is how in American Sign Language.

Meaning: To give a sharp slap or blow, typically one given with the palm of the hand.

This ASL verb is not all-one sign. Be aware of grammar and classifier phrase to modify this verb in a sentence.

Meaning: A loud kiss.

Again, this sign may be modified with a classifier when required.

Cross-cultural anecdotes

At an outdoor garden store one spring (2022), being multicultural I noticed something about the cashier, then I found out that she was an Ukrainian (during the Russian invasion of Ukraine). So, being not from here, she misinterpreted my sign "thank you" while I still had a mask on. She replied back with a "smack" thank-like gesture. You know, a smack-kiss gesture with the flat hand. Though, I was aware of her culture.

For clarification, I wrote down "thank you" and showed her the ASL sign. She replied back, "thank you" without the smack-kiss mouthing. Days later, I went back there for another purchase. I signed 'thank you'. She replied with a smacky kiss hand. Never mind, it was nice to be in another culture.

That doesn't stop from there. As a regular shopper at a market in 2022, sometimes I purchased locally-made chocolates from an old-man owner wearing his signature purple costume. He began to reply back with a "smacky-kiss" gesture after I signed "thank you" with my mask on. Funny.

While many hearing Americans and Canadians are familiar with "thank you", few, if not many, hearing non-signers seem to misinterpret it when signers wear a mask.

Language Play

Interjection: smack or friendly kiss to say "thank you" or to show much appreciation.

Usage in an informal or colloquial context with one who is close, familiar, or intimate.

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