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American Sign Language: "purse"

The sign for purse has a couple of variations. 
A popular version uses a mime-type motion as if you were holding on to the handle of a small purse or handbag.

PURSE / handbag:  (version 1)

Note: This version can be used to mean other things too. For example, it can mean briefcase or "suitcase."

PURSE:  (animated gif)


There is another version of purse that I see from time to time. It is is a bit, how shall I put this, ..."indelicate."  What you do is you bend your fingers at the large knuckles and put the pad of your thumb on the fingers (as if holding a piece of paper between your thumb and fingers) and then you, (ahem) "jam" (lightly) your hand up into your armpit twice.  Yes, indeed folks now you know why it is important to shower or bathe prior to ASL class.

PURSE (Version 2)

No, you can't use this version of "purse" to mean suitcase. Sorry. I haven't seen anyone carry a suitcase in their armpit. 
(Well, okay, now that I think about it, yes, I have seen it a time or two at the airport but it wasn't pretty.)

PURSE (version) (animated gif)


Most of the time the concept of "bag" is going to just be spelled: "B-A-G." Spelling "bag" is actually faster than doing a sign for it.
b.gif (461540 bytes)a.gif (156187 bytes)g.gif (156913 bytes)
Note: At high speed the "A" gets morphed a bit and the spelling just looks like a "sign."

Okay, now, did you pay attention to what I just said? 
Do you think I type this stuff out because I like typing?
I told you to spell the concept of "bag" = B-A-G.

Some of you are afraid of fingerspelling and are going to be stubborn and want a "sign" for bag. 
Fine. If you feel like looking silly here it is:


Now don't show up in your local ASL class or at a Deaf event and say, Dr. Bill says this is the sign for "bag."
Nope. I didn't tell you to sign "bag."  I told you to spell it. 

You can learn American Sign Language (ASL) online at American Sign Language University
ASL resources by    Dr. William Vicars

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