Monday, April 24, 2006

Monday Memories: How I got my name sign

In Deaf culture, a name sign is a gift given by an older member of the Deaf community. Some hearing people have to wait years to get a name sign, or may never get one, especially if they have a short name that can easily be fingerspelled.

Name signs are generally made with the hand in the shape of the first letter of their name. The position or movement of the sign signifies a physical or temperamental aspect of the person. For instance my friend Elaina is Hispanic and has beautiful, full, kinky hair. Her name sign is an E waving down from her head to her shoulder. Katie is a pianist and her sign is a K bounced in front as though one was playing keys on the piano. Jena’s sign is the sign for “happy” or “excited”, but done with a J handshape.

When I was first learning signs, I knew very little of Deaf culture and gave myself a name sign. Amy means “beloved”, so I chose an A over my heart. Years later, when I learned of my faux pas, I made the decision to drop the name sign.

It was only a day or two later when a Deaf lady asked for my name sign. I shrugged. So Trina gave me a name sign--an A near my chin, because I was beautiful, she explained.

I have never thought of myself as beautiful. If it weren’t for my bad acne and rosacea I would call myself averagely pretty. But I’ve been thinking about what tit means for me to be “Beautiful A”. While it is true that the acne and rasacea may be because we live in a fallen world, I know that my body was created special by God. I strive to be beautiful on the inside. And I know that I am beautiful inside and out to those who love me.

I will wear this name with honor. It will be a reminder to me of two things. One, that I wish to strive to be worthy of this name, by being as beautiful on the inside as I can be with God’s help. Two, that I am loved.

Other Bloggers' Monday Memories:

Collecting My Thoughts


Norma said...

Very interesting. I didn't know there was a special name sign.

My MM is up.

Jezreel said...

Ya, doesn't Jesus have a special name sign too?

Anyhoo, you are definitely a beautiful lady, Amy! Inside and out! And you're too irresistable NOT to love!

Amy said...

Thank you, Jez. :-)

Yes, Jesus's name sign is touching your palms alternatly with your middle finger of the other hand--signifying the nails that peirced Him on the cross. The middle finger is the "sensitive" figer--used for signs of great feeling.

Actually, most of the main Bible characters have sign names, and presidents and states and such do, as well.

purple_kangaroo said...

You are beautiful, Amy--inside and out. I should know. :)

My MM is up, too.

Rebekah said...

I think my cousin's was an L down her hair cause she had long hair and her name is Leah.

Shelley said...

How interesting is that! I wonder what they'd give me a sign for...

"D" said...

I'm here via Norma... and you made me cry. I tried to learn some ASL at a community center and loved the beauty of the language. I did not know that a name sign was so special tho' - we were just told it was a shortcut. Amy, I loved the statement you made about how your outward appearance can be for one reason but your inner beauty can outshine that. I'll be back!