How to Sign "Printer Jam" in Sign Language

Printer jams at work are inevitable, but they always seem to happen at the most inconvenient times. As frustrating as they can be, there's something comical about trying to fix the jam while your coworkers gather around and make jokes. "Looks like you're in a jam!" they'll say with a smirk, causing everyone to burst into laughter. But beyond the humor, having a sign that says "printer jam" is not only helpful for communication among hearing colleagues, but it also allows our Deaf and hard-of-hearing coworkers to stay in the loop and avoid any confusion. Plus, it adds a little flair to an otherwise mundane office task.

Signing "Printer"

  1. Hand Position: Start with your non-dominant hand hands open, palms up. Put your dominant hand in an L-shape with the index finger touching the thumb
  2. Starting Placement: Place your non-dominant hand in front of you, palm facing up. Position your dominant hand above your non-dominant hand, palm facing down.
  3. Movement: Tap your dominant hand down onto your non-dominant hand, tapping your index finger against your thumb as if pressing down on a printer.
  4. Facial Expression: Maintain a neutral facial expression, unless the context of the conversation indicates otherwise.

Signing "Jam"

  1. Hand Position: Form a “2” shape with your dominant hand
  2. Starting Placement: Place your hand in front of your neck
  3. Movement: Quickly bring your fingers to your throat.
  4. Facial Expression: Your facial expression should look like something got stuck, not too negative, but just expressing the frustration of something stuck

Learn how to sign other small talk phrases:

Break Communication Barriers

Learn more signs on our regularly updated ASL page! As you're picking up sign language, try using Ava for more meaningful conversations with Deaf and hard-of-hearing people.