BOIL in sign language

You turn on the stove to start boiling a pot of water. Which is the louder -- simmering or boiling?

ASL signs for BOIL

Meaning: To subject (something) to the heat of boiling liquid, in particular.

The temperature at which a liquid bubbles and turns to vapor.


Related signs: SIMMER, COOK.

Cross-cultural anecdote I

There were several times when the busy Deaf mom asked her coda in ASL, translated as "Please let me know when the hot water is boiling." The coda nodded and went on her reading a book.

One day, the water in a pot boiled for a bit while. The Deaf mom asked her 9-year-old coda "Don't you hear the water boiling and boiling? How is that so?"

The kid shook her head. Mom scratched her head, "Really? Honestly?" The kid asserted that she didn't hear, "It's quiet." Quiet? Are you kidding?

Mom doubtfully looked at the coda, "Sure? You couldn't hear the water boiling loudly. Yet, you could hear me unwrapping my secret chocolate and you suddenly showed up." -- Handspeak, 2020

Cross-cultural anecdote II

Over the period of time when the coda was 11, the same Deaf mom noticed the patterns. Every time a pot of water boiled there were large, busy bubbles bursting out at the top surface, her coda didn't report or claimed not to hear it. But, every time she did exclaim a warning, "really very loud bubbles!", the mom opened the lid and looked, "Well, it's not boiling yet. It's only simmering with a teeny tiny bubbles at the bottom."

After several patterns, the mom posed a question, "Does simmering make much louder than boiling?" The coda didn't know. She googled, sure enough. Yes.

To a Deaf eye, the water is visibly more agitative at the boiling point, but to ear, the sound is subdued.

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