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American Sign Language: "cubby"

A cubby is a type of storage system common in classrooms of very young children. The sign for a cubby is done by showing the sides then the top and bottom of a cubby.



A cubby:

(Picture Credit: Kate Anderson of Springfield, Oregon)

Notes: The first time you do the "cubby" sign in a conversation I recommend doing the sign somewhat large -- representational of the actual size of the cubby to which you are referring.  Then after your signing partner is familiar with the topic for the rest of the conversation you can do the sign smaller and more quickly.

Question: "When signing "cubby," in the first picture (showing the sides) I notice that you have your left hand higher than the right. Is that part of the sign?"

Answer: Ha! Um, not really, no. It is just because my brain is/was anticipating the second part of the sign (showing the top and bottom of the cubby) wherein my non-dominant hand is indeed higher than my dominant hand.  Here, I'll post it again but this time I'll do the first part of the sign with my hands perfectly even. (No need to be so particular about it though. Unless you are OCD.)


Note: Before you ask, no it doesn't matter which hand is higher in the second part of the sign.  I do it that way because it is somewhat similar to the sign for BOX. (Except BOX is horizontal not vertical.)


Kate writes:
"Cool! I love how simple and logical it is. Like the sign for "room" but smaller?
You will have to tell me if you get tired of my occasional emails requesting a sign. Otherwise I am pretty sure I'll take advantage of you. Please let me know. Seriously.

- Kate


The sign for CUBBY is like the sign for ROOM but upright.
The sign for CUBBY really isn't much smaller than the typical sign for ROOM (the non-initialized ASL form of which also happens to be the sign for BOX).  Both "rooms" and "cubbies" are just types of boxes. It is the rest of the sentence that helps us determine the specific meaning of the "4 sides" sign.
I'm always happy to receive sign requests from people. I just can't always fulfill the request in a timely manner. When the semester hits my email volume triples and my available time reduces by well over half.
- Dr. Bill

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