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American Sign Language: "bruise"

The sign for "bruise" has a couple of variations. There is a long form and a short form as well as just fingerspelling it.

If you are giving a generic lecture (to bilingual people who already know what the English word "bruise" means) and you don't know anything about the specific type and nature of the bruise you are better off just spelling B-R-U-I-S-E.

The long version of "bruise" is to describe a "black and blue spot" and indicate "where" that spot is.  The default location is on the upper portion of your non-dominant arm.

Sign, "BLACK" + "BLUE" + "spot on arm." (Use a "painful" facial expression.)

BRUISE (long form)

Note: Since this is a compound sign you are going to end up eliminating one of the movements of the sign "blue." (It is common to abbreviate individual signs when they become part of a compound.)


The short form of the sign for "bruise" can be used (and understood) in context. For example, if you are telling a story about being hit by a baseball hitting your arm and then you show a spot on your arm the listener is going to assume that you are indicating that you got a bruise. 

Use a painful expression as you show the location of the bruise.

BRUISE (short form)

You can adjust your hand shape and position to show the exact size and location of the bruise. If it is a very large bruise you can use two hands to show it (generally using the thumb and index fingers of each hand to frame the size and location of the larger bruise).

Also see: Classifier "C"

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