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American Sign Language: "bell / ringing / alarm"


Notes:  The "thing" that hangs down in the middle of a bell is called a "clapper."  Think of this sign as showing the clapper striking the inside wall of the bell.  Use a single larger movement to mean "ring" and change the wiggle the clapper as you pull it away from the bell to indicate the nature of the ringing. If it is a quick, shrill ringing, then repeat the movement many times using a fast, small movement.  If it is a loud sound then use a more forceful bang against your hand. If the sound of the bell "resonates for a while"-- you can show this after the initial "clap" against the hand by dragging the clapper through the air off to the right while shaking the "Q"-handshape a couple times.

A version of this sign is done with the index finger pointing up instead of down.  That version can also be used to indicate general "ringing" or an "alarm."

Sign: BELL


A colleague writes:

"... in preparation for a performance party with my ASL 3 students, I am having them do "I Heard the Bells"... an old Christmas favorite of mine. ... [The song has the word] "BELL"   followed immediately by "RINGING"... how  is the best way to handle this?

Show the inital clap of the bell, and then drag the clapper through the air a bit showing the reverberation of the ringing in the air.
(Sort of like the sign "green" heh).
Here is an animated gif example:

--modify the ringing to meet your needs.  For example, you could do a double clap of the ringer for "bells" and then do the reverberation for ringing and time it to match the tempo of the song.

Remember:  The "alarm" version points the index finger up, not down, and uses several quick movements.


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