The sign for "dinosaur" uses a "D" hand (or a
flattened "O"-hand) to show a dinosaur walking past. The arm bounces up and
down a bit (as if taking steps)
as it travels from right to left. Use a facial expression that conveys
something big, heavy, and ominous walking by.
In a message dated 2/22/2005 12:49:59 PM Pacific Daylight Time, kputski@_______
I have seen two variations on the sign
for dinosaur that are different from the one you use. One has the
dominant hand's elbow resting on the down-facing, non-dominant hand.
The dominant hand has the fingers on the thumb like a closed,
flattened "c" formation, but the "head" sways from side to side.
The other variation that I saw was where
the dominant hand makes a "d" shape, then bounces several times
across the top of the head front to back like making "spikes" on the
Are these widely-accepted variations, or
more regional variations?
I love the first variation you mention. I'd use it while
telling a story after identifying that I'm talking about
dinosaurs via spelling or pictures (to establish context). If you
have whipped out a book with a big picture of a dinosaur and it is
obvious that you are talking about dinosaurs you don't need to bother
with the "D" hand at all and can jump straight to using a flattened-O
handshape. The base hand is not needed but it does add a bit of
interesting extra "detail" to the sign.
That second version you mention ("D's" going backward along the top of
the head) is not widely used, no.
I personally would only use your second variation if the handshape was
modified to be an "index finger" and then only use it to describe
dinosaurs with spikes doing down their backs. It still wouldn't be
the "general" sign for "dinosaur" but it could be "a" sign for a "type"
of dinosaur if you were telling a story about various types of
dinosaurs. It seems to me that the handshape would probably be
more of a "b"-hand since it would better represent the types of "spikes"
I see going down the backs of certain dinosaurs. I suppose
if it were a triceratops you could use a modified "3" handshape on the
head with the fingers (and thumb) pointing mostly forward.
-- Dr. Bill
In a message dated 2/22/2005 7:02:51 PM Pacific Standard Time,
Thanks for the information. When I
would use that to tell children's stories, could that first
dinosaur sign be used as (for lack of a better description) a
classifier...for making the dinosaur look around, etc.?
Yes, exactly! It could (and should).
-- Dr. Bill
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