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American Sign Language: "call"

The right sign for "call" depends on your meaning.

The general sign for "make a phone call" uses a "Y" handshape that starts near the side of the head and moves outward a few inches. This sign specifically refers to making a voice phone call.

CALL-(by phone using voice)


Also see: PHONE


In the old days, we Deaf people used to call our Deaf friends using a "teletypewriter" (TTY) or later via a  "Telecommunication Device for the Deaf" (TDD) (Which most of us still refer to as a TTY.)  Not many people use TTYs any more since text messaging and videophones (VP) are prevalent now.  But you might still see this classic sign for "CALL" that specifically refers to how Deaf people "call" each other.

CALL-(using a TTY)


If you mean "call" as in "give a name to" then you should use the verb form of the sign for "NAME." This is the equivalent of name as in, "You should name your dog 'Spot.'"  Or "He christened his boat 'Sally' in memory of his mother."  To do this variation of "call" you use a single movement version of the sign "NAME."

NAME-(verb form)
[Use a single, large movement]


Also see: "NAME"


"CALL" as in "summon" or a church calling:


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