Shape Language

alone: small finger raised above a fist

arena: two hands together with the pointer and middle finger raised

Ash (Fir’s older brother): four fingers straight with the thumb crossed over the palm

attack: four fingers thrusting forward

bee: the thumb and index finger tapping

betrayal: the opposite of trust; the palms move apart

beware: thumbs crossed

Blazes (warriors under the command of Captain Rek): a swipe to the right with the right hand

blow (hit): sharp cut with the hand

board: a palm flattened across the back of a hand

bond: a vertical fist with thumb laid over them

bond of friendship: thumbs hook together

bond of love (particular affection): elbows go out as fingers curl together, one forearm turned up and the other down, opposites that are a perfect fit

brother: the pointer fingers parallel and joined

burden: three fingers curled

burn: parallel fingers curled

call: fingertips to the cheek then moving out

Captain: the arm outstretched, as if in command

Chronicler: fingers pursed as if they hold a feather to draw

completely: both hands raised and with the palms facing the speaker

conjury: a palm circles an ear; also witchcraft, something frightening and unexplained

courage: fists joined then moving outwards

coward: a quick circle with the flat of the hand

Cranox (the Master’s general): one hand cupped over a fist

creature: a horizontal V over the eyes

danger: two fists pounding, one in front of the other 

Dark (the) (a kind of petroleum): the thumb gripped by all four fingers in a fist

dead: palm clap

death: one hand flat with the fingers splayed, with the two fingers of the other hand on the palm

death rattle: a fist with the thumb raised and making a slow circle

Dinitra: a clenched fist to the heart

don’t know/unsure: shrug

doesn’t matter: palms flip and press down

battle dog: the second and fifth finger crooked

battle dog attack: two fingers curved like fangs

dread: a hand cupped waist high, turning

dust: fingers flutter

eat: two fingers pressed to lips

father: the flat of the hand horizontal pointed to the sky, making a circle

female: two longest fingers entwined

Fir: the pointing and middle fingers angled across one another with the right hand on top, with the thumbs overlapped, forming an inner fir cone

fire: palms up and fingers wriggling

Fire Brother (a god created by warriors): the pointer fingers together while the rest wriggle

fool: the pointer finger vertical and twisting

forgive: palms outstretched

free/freedom: a fist opening

friend: pointing fingers curled around each other

funny: patting just below the neck

fury: the palm swipes up from the chest

good: a cupped hand, palm up, at the lips

heal: fists under the chin and moving out

helio (a solar-powered airship): a fist held high then opening and closing rapidly

hello: a wave of the pointer finger

help: one hand on the other parallel to the chest, lifting

home: the fingertips of one hand pressed to the back of the other hand

hope: a flick at the temple

horses: fingers flick on a palm

how this happens: palms turned up, fingers curled, thumbs pointing out

human: two fingers on a palm with the fingers together

I (me): laying a hand over the collarbone

joy: hands cupped as if to drink cold spring water

key: two fingers rotating

kill: the pointer fingers hitting

lie: a finger circle

life: two hands beating chest

listen/pay attention: cup an ear

Living Wood (Fir and his brothers): the three long fingers, loyalty, strength and the Mother’s love

loud: flicking the ear

love: hands clasped with fingers entwined

loyal: a palm cut across the eyes

lucky: the crook of the thumbs joined

male/man (a soldier with the Hundred-Hundred): a cut to the ribs with both hands flat and palms up

male/man (in Bounty): two longest fingers entwined (female) on top of the flat back of the hand

The Master: one pointer finger horizontal to the other

maybe: eyebrows raised

moment: a pointer finger swirling

Mother (the): the flat of the hand horizontal and pointing to the Earth, circling the ground

name: the little finger drawn from temple to chin

nektar (a healing substance made by the Hive Queen): fingers stretching over the back of the right hand

no: a fist

nonsense: back of the hand slaps the open palm

nothing: a hole with the fingers

obedient: smooths one palm against the other

Queen Odide: the base of the palms together and fingers cupped into the bowl-shape of a flower

order: palm moving outward from the chin

particular affection (bond of love): elbows go out as fingers curl together, one forearm turned up and the other down, opposites that are a perfect fit

patience: the back of the hand against one eye

peace: open hands at the hips

piss: a jab of the pinky

plan: the tips of the fingers gently touching

plea: both palms moving out from the forehead

please: palm moving out from the forehead

promise: a gentle swipe of the flattened palms

question: a touch to the earlobe

Remedy (powdered rose hips, to keep the virus women breed into men dormant): the thumb and small finger together

revenge: hands touch between the thumb and pointer fingers, then twist as if throttling a small animal

run away: fingers dusting the palm

sabotage: laced fingers coming apart

safe: a vertical palm and cupping the back of the other hand

scrags (a derogatory term for Bounty folk used by people in the Weave): hand flat under the chin with the fingers wiggling

scuttle (slang for wildmen): the hand cupped to swing once

secret: a thumb to the lips

shape language: palms flat and pressed

sick: palm wiggling at the belly

silence: one hand on the other, flat

sing: five fingers pressed together

sister: the hands flipped with short fingers parallel and touching

sit: the heels of two hands together

slave: wrists crossed, as if bound

smell: the fingertips joined below the nose

snap: a snap before and after a word is for emphasis, like an exclamation point

so?: two thumbs together

someone: a circle with a flattened palm

soon: the pinky and thumb coming together

sound: the pointer finger circling an ear

sorry: the palm circling over the heart

spirit: hands cupped but separate

sprig: the smallest finger wiggling

stay: a flat palm sideways

story: right fingertips brushing the left palm

surprise: the pointer finger on an O of the mouth

swirl: the pointer finger doing a downward circle.

talk: thumb on the chin and fingers fanned

teach: a hand cupping a ball of air

Timbe (Fir’s Captain-mother): five fingers on both hands interlocked

time: palm vertical and the thumb and pointer finger to nine o’ clock

thanks: the hand vertical in front of the mouth

tongued: one pointer finger slips over the other

traitor: a fist slam into the palm

training: my palms rubbing together

trust: palms crossed at the base of the neck

truth: pointer to the mouth then sharply brought forward

wait: the thumb and pointer finger tapping

warrior: fists at the hips

waste: fist circling

watch: a finger to the eye

water: a gentle fist at the chin

we: the pointer finger circling

weakness: a hand dangling from a wrist

welcome: the palms hitting the shoulders in unison

what is it?: a roll of the pointing finger

why: a fist turning at the cheek

wildmen: a flick of the hand with the fingers separated

wish: a straight motion down his chest

wobble: flat palm, tipping evenly back and forth

yes (also agreement): a nod