message dated 9/28/2003 9:53:41 AM Pacific Daylight Time, firstname.lastname@example.org
<<If you can and for my own person curiosity, how under the sun do
you sign "guinea pig"?? No one can tell me!>>
Just spell "g-u-i-n-e-a" and then sign PIG.
You'd do that on the first reference. Then afterward during that
same conversation you just sign "PIG." (Unless it were a lecture on
different types of pigs eh? If you need to differentiate between
types of pigs then you'd need to keep being specific.)
If I had a magic wand I'd zap myself to "New Guinea" and find out
the sign for that country (the word "Guinea") from the local native
Deaf. Then I'd use that sign combined with our sign for pig.
But, lacking such a magic wand maybe there is a New Guinea website
showing signs from their country? But here in the U.S. not
many people know or use a sign for "Guinea" (at least none of the
folks I've interviewed).
Another thing to keep in mind is that much of the time when someone
says (in English) the phase "guinea pig" they are not talking about
a cute little pet. They are really talking about "testing out
something new on someone or something." In that case I'd sign
"TEST PIG." I were talking about the idea of someone or
something being used as a test or prototype.
My suggestion for an actual dedicated sign to use (if I were talking
about a real "guinea pig") would be to spell it out on first usage
then I'd do the sign for "swollen cheeks" and then pig. (Swollen
cheeks would be signed with "claw" hands on each cheek.) Then
for the rest of that conversation I could sign "swollen cheeks" to
mean "guinea pig" (without needing to add the sign PIG." Of course,
"no one" beyond that immediate conversation would have any clue what
I was talking about, but it would work well during that particular
Again, remember, if I were not discussing any type of pig other than
guinea pigs, after I indicated "guinea" the first time or two, I'd
just drop it and only sign "pig." The other person would still
understand that I was talking about the cute little furry ones
and not the big mud covered ones.
- Dr. Bill
In a message dated 5/29/2003 4:12:45 PM Central Daylight Time,
I am looking for the signs for Dragon, Guinea Pig, and Hamster. Any
assistance you could give would be most appreciated.
The sign for hamster is to sign "mouse" and then puff out your
cheeks and put your right and left "claw" handshapes on your cheeks
to show cheeks full of nuts.
The sign dragon is to place the back of the right "and" handshape up
against your snarled mouth. Then "shoot" the handshape forward while
wiggling the fingers as if to represent a dragon blowing fire.
To sign Guinea Pig, you can combine the signs: TEST and PIG, or you
can sign "big cheeks" by using claw hands on your cheeks.
I hope that helps. Good luck in your signing endeavors.
You can learn American Sign Language (ASL) online at American Sign Language University ™
ASL resources by Lifeprint.com © Dr. William Vicars