How does Koko the Gorilla use Sign Language and Slang to Communicate with Humans?

Koko the Gorilla was taught to use Sign language, and may also use Slang to Communicate with Humans.

Koko, the most adept signing gorilla ever, started using the sign for “nipple” for “people,” perhaps because of the rhyme.

She also started using “stink” for “flower.” Another linguistic oddity she initiated is referring to any woman as “lips” and any man as “foot.”

Koko was born on July 4 1971, at the San Francisco Zoo, and is a Lowland Gorilla who is able to understand more than 1,000 signs based on American Sign Language, and about 2,000 words of spoken English.

That’s smarter than most adults these days.

She has lived most of her life in Woodside, California, and is planning to move to a sanctuary in Maui, Hawaii sometimes soon.

Koko is short for the name Hanabiko, which means “fireworks child” in Japanese, and is a reference to the 4th of July, her date of birth.

This amazing Gorilla even has several pet cats which she cares for.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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