Interjection used to call for silence or to tell someone to stop talking or to be less noisy.

Pronunciation/articulation: Dominant forefinger (palm facing left) taps on the mouth with mouthing "SH".

Video (2017) courtesy of Nancy Barker, a Deaf zoologist.

Non-manual signal used only when you want to whisper (of course in ASL).

Related signs: SILENT, QUIET.

Deaf Culture and tidbits

Anecdote: kid says darndest things

One morning on the last day of May, four-year-old bilingual ASL-speaking Juli and I watched outside through the bedroom window. We talked about the night before of lightnings and thunders (all conversations in ASL as always). How terrified we were by one strong thunder that vibrated like a earthquake through our bedroom floor.

Juli pondered out the window and told me, ix-me hear bird singing. now ix spring. In moments, a little song bird flew onto the lower roof below our window. I quickly gestured "Shh!", signed bird, and pointed to it. Juli looked at it with a smile. The bird flew away in no time.

Juli turned to me, why you shh! ix window huh? I laughed, there-you right. you very-good point! I took this teachable moment to introduce the concept of "good point" in this context. I repeated, "Good point."

Jul smiled, ix-me win. Yep, I nodded.

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