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American Sign Language: "WAGON" or "BUGGY"

WAGON / BUGGY (horse drawn)
This is the general sign for a horse drawn wagon, cart, or buggy:

For an mp4 version:
"wagon" (horse drawn)

"A horse drawn wagon"


Suppose you wanted to be very specific or clear about what kind of wagon you have.  You can use classifiers (which are special handshapes that can be used to show the size, shape, and/or movement of things) to describe what the wagon is like.

"Covered Wagon"
Sample Description: HORSES "two in far front" "two in near front" "behind that, a vehicle" "covered with a high rounded top."



Touch the thumb to the side of your head near your temple or a bit higher. Bend the fingers forward twice.  The bend is at the large knuckles. Keep the middle knuckles fairly straight.


After you have introduced the concept of a "horse" you can use a bent-V hand to show where it is located.
Here I'm showing four horses. Two in front and two more behind them:


You can use a "classifier-3" handshape to show a vehicle. Then you can use a flat handshape to show the covering.
This concept would only be clear if you had already established some context by indicating the horses up front. 
Another, even better method would be to spell W-A-G-O-N, then show the classifier-3, do the cover, then show the horses up front, thus starting with the largest main object.


DRAWN (as in "pulled"), "pulling."
Just grab one hand with an "underhand" grip, and pull it a few inches.



The index and middle fingers of the dominant hand are "sitting" in the base hand's "C handshape." Move the base hand forward a short distance with the dominant hand "riding in" the base hand.


Also see:  RIDE


In a message dated 8/23/2007 6:45:07 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
Hi Bill,
I would like to know your opinion on the sign for WAGON, as in a children's wagon that you pull. I don't see it anywhere on your site, but have seen a couple of variations of the sign.
The ASL browser shows an upturned fist (looks like an "e" hand to me) pulling right to left, I have also seen a downturned "S" hand used. Any ideas on which, if any, is more commonly used?: )
Monta Briant
Sign2Me Presenter, San Diego
You will not find a "standard" sign for "toy wagon" because there isn't one. 
Ask ten adult Deaf people and you will get a variety of signs that generally look like the pulling of a wagon.  As I sat here at my desk, I found myself  using both index fingers to show the left and right front wheels and then doing a pulling movement.
In real life if the topic of toy wagons came up it would probably be because you have a wagon in front of you and so you would point to it. But if you were discussing a toy wagon with an adult deaf person and no wagon was around, you'd spell it. You might sign CHILD W-A-G-O-N, or PLAY W-A-G-O-N to indicate you are not talking about a horse drawn wagon (which does have a specific sign).  If you were telling CHILDREN a story about a toy wagon, on first reference you'd use a combination of signs and spelling to describe it (yes, we spell to children they might not phonetically sound out w-a-g-o-n, but rather they see the shape and flow of the word and often form a direct association between the fingerspelled word and the object which it represents) . You'd point to it in the book if there was a picture.  If there was no picture you would use classifiers to show the size and shape. You'd show the wheels, and then you'd do a pulling movement.  The second time you mention the "wagon" you then use fewer signs.  By the third or fourth time you refer to the wagon you simply use the dragging sign.
I personally like the palm down, "S" handshape, right to left movement.  But that doesn't mean I think it is any "better" than the palm up movement.  I do know that if I just walked up to my wife and out of context asked her, "YOU WANT BUY WAGON?" using that sign,--she would have no clue what I was talking about.  Now, if I mouthed the word wagon, she would probably get it. ("Mouthing" is a whole different discussion that has already been posted).
So, if you want to teach a sign for wagon, feel free to show the "drag" sign.  Note: I find myself doing a small double movement to indicate the noun form vs a larger single movement for the verb form.
Dr. V


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