In a message dated 5/26/2005 12:17:06 PM Pacific Daylight Time, dsgoldie@____.net
I have been searching the internet for the answer to my question, but
cannot find the answer. I have purchased your materials and thought you
could help. I am looking for a sign for "widow". Can you help me? Thank
you so much for your web site. I am a hearing person wanting to someday
communicate in my town with deaf people. Your web site has
been very helpful. Keep up the great work!
In the ASL if you are referring to woman whose husband has died and who has
not remarried you usually just fingerspell "W-I-D-O-W." This may seem
laborious to Hearing people, but fingerspelling is very common among native
If you "must" have a sign, you could sign "HER HUSBAND DEAD" or "SHE-(index) HUSBAND
For "widower" you'd sign, "HIS WIFE DEAD," or "HE-(index) WIFE DEAD."
I've also seen some people use the signs, "HER HUSBAND GONE." The sign
"GONE" is used by some bilingual Deaf as a
euphemism for dead.
If you need a general sign for "widow or widower" you could simply sign
"MARRY DEAD." Which would mean that the "spouse" is dead.
But remember, lots of folks will simply use fingerspelling: W-I-D-O-W.
In English, the word "widow" has other uses though. It can be used to mean a woman whose husband
is gone a lot due to regular or extended participation in an activity. For
example, "poker." If you were refering to a "poker widow" you'd sign, "HER
HUSBAND P-O-K-E-R every-FRIDAY NIGHT, NOT-MATTER." (Which means that "it
doesn't matter whatever else happens, that husband plays poker on Friday
nights.) There isn't any one particular sign for "poker widow"
Much depends on real life. For example suppose he plays poker on
Saturday nights? You would simply state the situation: "HER HUSBAND
P-O-K-E-R every-SATURDAY NIGHT, MUST!"
"MUST" and "NOT-MATTER" are only two examples of signs that can be used to
establish this alternate meaning of "widow." You could use signs like: HABIT!,
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