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OREGON: The American Sign Language (ASL) sign for "Oregon"

When in Oregon (and elsewhere) sign (Oregon) as the Oregonians do.

"The sign for Oregon circles a palm-forward "O" hand in the dominant-side signing area in front of the chest (about where fingerspelling is typically done or a bit higher)."



Bowers, Shane (January 18, 2023) "Sign for Oregon"



An older (not currently recommended) variant sign for "Oregon" is an "O" off of the shoulder.
Some people do a small circular movement as they come off the shoulder.

That older sign for Oregon was very similar to the sign for Washington (the state). Both touch the initial to the shoulder (or start near the shoulder) and bring it forward.

This version is being shared not so that you will use it (please don't) but rather so that if you are an interpreter or other professional working with Deaf people you will be able to recognize it if one of your clients uses it or if you see it in an older video.

(Model: Byron Cantrell / used with permission)

Comments from Bill Vicars: 
I think it is important to note that the ASL model showing (the shoulder version of) the sign above is a native Deaf signer and the photos were clipped from a video recorded mid-aughts (the early 2000s).  Byron is a highly respected member of the Deaf community, has been signing all of his life, has taught Deaf students and ASL for many years, is married to a Deaf woman, has Deaf kids (who also teach ASL) and was teaching ASL at Sacramento State University at the time of the recording.  So let's not pretend that the "O"-from the shoulder version was just some random, limited, minor regional variation.  No. That shoulder version of Oregon was widespread and used by many, many native Deaf during the 1980s and into the 2000s.  These comments are not at all intended to defend nor promote the shoulder version of the sign Oregon -- but rather to document and provide some historical perspective.

Let's also not claim that the shoulder version of Oregon was never used by a number of Deaf people who lived in Oregon.  A significant number of Deaf did use the shoulder version -- at least for a while.  I lived in Salem, Oregon for six months back around 1987. I visited the School for the Deaf quite a bit and hung out with many Deaf. It would be interesting to find video documentation of the sign for Oregon by locals back in the 1980's and before to try to pinpoint when and where the shoulder version spread.

Respect the fact that Deaf people from Oregon have historically signed the "circle O" for Oregon -- and that the "circle O" version is the citation / preferred version (as indicated by Deaf people who actually grew up and live in Oregon). 

Language is a moving target.  Let's do our best to respect and follow the current / stated preferences of those who live in Oregon.

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