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American Sign Language: "underwear"

The sign for "underwear" is made by using the index finger and thumb of each hand to trace the outline of your underwear.  Your palms face backward.  Your hand shape changes from an upside down "L" to a closed "G." 


STUDENT:  I've seen some other sign for underwear up near the mouth? Is that an okay sign?

Dr. Bill:  Hey, I've seen that sign too. A bunch of my older friends sign it that way.  It looks sort of like a loose "C" hand that closes a couple of times into an "S" hand at the chin. I've never particularly liked that version, (to me doing the sign near the mouth makes me think of the phrase "eat my shorts" -- which I've never done mind you) but I've noticed people get rather protective of their underwear so if that is how most Deaf people do it in your area, by all means when in Rome do as the Romans do!  If they want to eat their shorts, wear togas, and party all night long, then you have a cultural responsibility to join in.

Underwear isn't just for the bottom half (unless perhaps you are in France), so for all you gals out there we need a sign for the top. I prefer to go with a classic beige underwire modified "L" handshape showing the general area covered by a bra.

BRA or bikini: 

p.s. To "Jack" in SF, "No, I will not model this further. But thanks for asking though and best wishes  for a delightful summer."


A student asks: "If you are sitting, how would you sign things like pants and underwear above that region of the body?"

Dr. Bill answers: Just do such signs a little higher than normal.

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