ASL University

 American Sign Language: "DEATH"

Also see:  DEAD

Julie writes:

Hi Dr. Bill,
This is Julie from the subscription class. I think I explained to you that I am a Victim Crisis Responder. Many times I have to talk to a victim about what is going to take place when the police arrive. I can't find these terms in the ASL dictionary - suicide, coroner, hearse. Would I just fingerspell them or is there a word or combination of words that I could use?
Julie _____


There are no widely accepted "specific" signs for any of those concepts. But you have the right idea regarding using a combination of signs.

SUICIDE = KILL HIM/HER/YOUR-SELF  or perhaps fingerspell it if the person already knows what "suicide" means and using the sign "KILL" would be insensitive at the moment.

"Coroner" = Spell "coroner" and sign something to the effect of: SUPPOSE DIE STRANGE [or] SUSPECT? HE/SHE PERSON RESPONSIBLE INVESTIGATE WHAT'S-UP.
From then on use the sign INVESTIGATOR (in context) to mean "coroner."

"Hearse" = CAR stretched-CAR insert-body-into-the-back-of DRIVE-TO FUNERAL. From then on, in context, sign "THAT CAR" or "IT CAR" or "classifier: 3"

Take care,
-- Dr. Bill



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