Name sign

In Deaf culture and sign language, a sign name (or a name sign) is a special sign that is used to uniquely identify a person, just like a name. There are some special cultural rules around sign names; for example, they must be agreed upon by you and people in the Deaf community. This ensures that no one else in the community already has the same sign name, or that the same sign does not have a different meaning. Until a person receives a sign name, the person's name is usually fingerspelled.[1]

In different cultures

Different deaf cultures appear to have different customs around sign names. For example, amongst the Deaf American community, sign names are usually subdivided into two naming systems: descriptive (DNS) and arbitrary (ANS).[2] The DNS system manually illustrates physical features, while the ANS system is the first letter of their English name applied to one or more locations. Though the location can sometimes have some implications (e.g. forehead/temple for male, chin/mouth for female), it is usually just a unique sign without other meaning.

In France only the DNS system is used.

In Britain or Japan, however, people can be named after the existing signs for something related to them.

In countries where sign languages in the Japanese Sign Language family are used (i.e. Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan), sign names for males make the thumb prominent, while those for females make the pinky prominent.


Further reading

External links

  • Sign names
  • Name signs
  • Name SignTemplate:Deaf-stub
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