Combined name signs?

Lily7

New Member
So I was reading an article over on lifeprint.com, and I discovered that apparently, a combined name sign should never be given. It should either be arbitrary or descriptive, but not both. Is this true?

I ask, because my name sign is combined. It's an "L" wiggled down from the top of the head to my shoulders, for my name and my curly hair. And yes, a Deaf person gave me this name sign, even though I am deaf I waited for a culturally Deaf to give it to me. I am no longer in contact with this person, though, so I can't ask why he gave me a combined name sign if it's not acceptable in Deaf culture.

So, I am confused, and hoping you guys can clear this up!
 

Grayma

New Member
I don't know, but my deaf friend's own name sign is the same as yours, just with a different initial as her first name is different.
 

KristinaB

Emotional Mess
Premium Member
Most people in my Deaf church and Deaf club have combined name signs. They were given theirs while in Deaf schools years ago. Mine is a combined name sign as well.
 

warpedpink

Member
That is the rule, but not many people know it. Many of us got our name signs from hearing teachers when we were little kids and those hearing teachers didn't know any better and it's hard to change a name sign (though I did...)
 

Lily7

New Member
So, is it really that offensive if you have a combined name sign, or is it one of those things most people just brush off and don't really care about?
 

Anij

Well-Known Member
Wirelessly posted (Blackberry Bold )

It really depends on the area you live in and it's linguistic history. Many of us older than 30 had at least some exposure to SEE educational before or after learning ASL. This becomes part of our communities linguistic history and flavors what are considered appropriate name signs in our area. For example, here we have many people who have what I'd call "modified name signs" which due to subtle shifts in location (and the reason behind the NS) aren't truly ANS, but also don't fall under DNS either.



I know plenty of Deaf who have what would be technically considered CNSs - however they follow an accepted tradition (by the article's example about 25% of the Deaf people likely have a "wrong" name sign - including DODAs and CODAs).

Really, if you've been officially given it by your Deaf community, I wouldn't worry about it. Also keep in mind that if you move etc your name sign may very well change as well.

Interestingly the article has a glaring error in it - it states (or strongly implies) that if one spends a lot of time in the Deaf community they WILL (not "may") receive a name sign. This is not actually an accurate statement. There are MANY people who, because of the name they have is short or flows well in fingerspelling do not have a name sign - their name,fingerspelled becomes their "name sign".
 
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Lily7

New Member
Wirelessly posted (Blackberry Bold )

It really depends on the area you live in and it's linguistic history. Many of us older than 30 had at least some exposure to SEE educational before or after learning ASL. This becomes part of our communities linguistic history and flavors what are considered appropriate name signs in our area. For example, here we have many people who have what I'd call "modified name signs" which due to subtle shifts in location (and the reason behind the NS) aren't truly ANS, but also don't fall under DNS either.



I know plenty of Deaf who have what would be technically considered CNSs - however they follow an accepted tradition (by the article's example about 25% of the Deaf people likely have a "wrong" name sign - including DODAs and CODAs).

Really, if you've been officially given it by your Deaf community, I wouldn't worry about it. Also keep in mind that if you move etc your name sign may very well change as well.
Thanks for the explanation!

Interestingly the article has a glaring error in it - it states (or strongly implies) that if one spends a lot of time in the Deaf community they WILL (not "may") receive a name sign. This is not actually an accurate statement. There are MANY people who, because of the name they have is short or flows well in fingerspelling do not have a name sign - their name,fingerspelled becomes their "name sign".
Actually, my "other" name sign was, for a long time, just "Lily" fingerspelled, since it is short and does flow well. But the guy that gave me an actual name sign said that it was too close to the "I love you" sign when fingerspelled quickly and would be confusing to other deaf people, so he gave me that name sign instead.
 

Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
...Actually, my "other" name sign was, for a long time, just "Lily" fingerspelled, since it is short and does flow well. But the guy that gave me an actual name sign said that it was too close to the "I love you" sign when fingerspelled quickly and would be confusing to other deaf people, so he gave me that name sign instead.
Aww, I think LILY "I love you" would be a sweet name sign the way it was. :aw:

If you spelled it slowly upon first introduction and then quickly thereafter, I wouldn't think it would be confusing.
 

kellycat

New Member
An interpreter I know (I don't know his level of involvement in the Deaf community, he just moved here) has a descriptive sign, based off of clothes he apparently always wore. I have no doubt it was given by a deaf middle school kid he 'terped for. He finds it so odd that none of the Deaf people I know have given me a name sign yet. None of the Deaf people seem to find it strange. Kelly flows pretty well when you spell it, so they apparently didn't think I need one. Which is fine, although a part of me kinda wants one, so I really feel like I'm a member of the club, y'know?
 

MissLady

New Member
I think quick, short names (usually with LY like Kelly, Molly, etc.) are usually FS. That also goes for men with names like Tom, Mark, Bob. Those are usually FS in this area.

I have a question about name signs for the community here. I heard from Deaf that women who are single cannot have their last name incorporated into their name sign until they are married. For example, a woman named Lisa Smith can't have a name sign that incorporates LS unless that is her married last name. What do you guys think about that?
 

Anij

Well-Known Member
Wirelessly posted (Blackberry Bold )

MissLady said:
I think quick, short names (usually with LY like Kelly, Molly, etc.) are usually FS. That also goes for men with names like Tom, Mark, Bob. Those are usually FS in this area.

I have a question about name signs for the community here. I heard from Deaf that women who are single cannot have their last name incorporated into their name sign until they are married. For example, a woman named Lisa Smith can't have a name sign that incorporates LS unless that is her married last name. What do you guys think about that?
Sounds like a local guideline.

I know a number of single women (or married women who kept their maiden name) who have a name sign connected to their last initial.
 

kellycat

New Member
A woman I know (hearing, but ASL teacher/terp) has a name sign using M.S., her maiden name. Now that her initials are M.G., she keeps (and likes) her MS name sign, but another colleague (deaf, also ASL teacher) always signs it as MG. Probably just to annoy her.
 

MissLady

New Member
Thanks for the answers guys. I think this is just one person's opinion in my area.

Anyway Lily (OP), I was re-reading your first post and I think you don't have a combined name sign. Arbitrary means that it's like, on your chest or just out in space, which has nothing to do with any of your physical features. Descriptive means it relates to a physical feature (hair, smile, muscles, etc.) Yours seems to be descriptive (L with a wiggle for curly hair).
 

ambrosia

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Ah I found the perfect thread to post this in!! I've learned on here that only Deaf are supposed to give name signs, which means until I get involved in the Deaf Community around here, if they'll accept me, my kids won't have name signs either since I'm not supposed to give them. I'm not planning on trying to get my foot in the door with the Deaf Community until I know some more ASL. I've been using Lifeprint.com as well and noticed the same thing the OP mentioned, that combined signs are a big no no. Actually my aunt was an interpreter and gave me a name sign yeeeaaars ago, and A with the thumb brushed against the chin for "cute amber". Anywho though why I was looking....

I had an appointment with the audiologist today for another fitting for my new Naidas. He asked me if I'd been learning ASL, I said YES :D and told him about Lifeprint. Well then he proceeded to give me a name sign. To his face I was uh thanks....in my head I was going "whoa dude you're not supposed to do that!!!" He broke all the rules too, he's hearing, and he was trying to give me a combined sign......and I'm pretty it was wrong too. He was trying to give me an A brushed circled over the heart. He told me an A for Amber, nad over the heart like that because I'm a masseuse, which btw is a term that's not used anymore, I'm a massage therapist. Well I had no idea what the sign for massage was, but I figured it probably wouldn't be anything to w/ the heart, so I looked it up on ALSpro, and yeah nothing like that. The closest I can think of that he might be thinking of is "feel" but even then that's the wrong side of the chest and the wrong motion, it doesn't circle it brushes down right?

But I think this covers all the bases of why a hearing person that isn't fluent in ASl should not be giving name signs!
 

SteveB

New Member
In college a Deaf friend of mine gave me a name sign. He signed S followed by a B that was raised high above the head (eyes raised to follow the b shape) My initials are SB and I'm 6'5", so he signed my initials combined with the sign for tall. Had no idea what it meant until recently when I learned ASL due to my iown hearing loss. I'm sure it's not proper and I'd never use it with anyone but him and the group we hung with in school, but to this day i often think of myself using his sign.
 

justagirl

New Member
Well I'm deaf and I gave my son a CNS. It's more like a nickname for him but it's what I call him. It's a Q at the top of the head and the sign for bear. Q-Bear. It came from him dragging around his Pooh all the time. I know when he starts school it will be different but for now that is what I refer to my little guy as.

Maybe I shouldn't have given him the combined name sign but I didn't grow up in the deaf community even though I am deaf. But I'm his mother and I chose to do it. He is my Q-Bear.
 

Anij

Well-Known Member
Wirelessly posted (Blackberry Bold )

Justagirl - yeah, that's a nickname, not really a name sign at all. (Name signs don't use word-signs as part of a name ... For example someone named "Lily" wouldn't have a name sign that was "lily" or "flower" etc ...)
 

Bottesini

Old Deaf Ranter
Premium Member
Wirelessly posted (Blackberry Bold )

Justagirl - yeah, that's a nickname, not really a name sign at all. (Name signs don't use word-signs as part of a name ... For example someone named "Lily" wouldn't have a name sign that was "lily" or "flower" etc ...)
Oh, gee.... My name sign , from my grandmother, is a word sign... :aw:
 

justagirl

New Member
Wirelessly posted (Blackberry Bold )

Justagirl - yeah, that's a nickname, not really a name sign at all. (Name signs don't use word-signs as part of a name ... For example someone named "Lily" wouldn't have a name sign that was "lily" or "flower" etc ...)
Thank you that is good to know...I wasn't sure that even if we consider it a "nickname" if the deaf community would take it as his name. Like I said, I wasn't lucky enough to grow up in the deaf world really.

Thank you for telling me that though, I would hate to confuse people...:aw:
 
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