The concept of "oven" is generally just fingerspelled:
When fingerspelled what often happens is the letters become
lexicalized (they mutate a bit and the fingerspelled word actually
ends up looking a bit more like a sign than a fingerspelled word).
The main mutation in the spelling of O-V-E-N is that the "E" ends up
using index and middle fingers resting on the top edge of the thumb
(rather than all four fingers resting on the top edge of the thumb).
Another thing that often happens is that the "O" may be done with
just the thumb, index finger, and middle finger (but leaving the
pinkie or ring finger relaxed).
The fingerspelled version would show up in such situations as in
asking someone to turn on the oven and preheat it to 350.
You would sign something like this:
YOU-MIND O-V-E-N HOT 350?
Or you could sign:
HEY-[attention] YOU-MIND O-V-E-N HOT 350.
HEY-[attention] NEED O-V-E-N HOT 350.
Some people might use the sign "START"
Quite a few Deaf even use the basic "ON" sign
to mean "turn the oven on" (but most ASL teachers won't teach that
approach to their students).
You would also spell "O-V-E-N" for sentences like this:
"I need to buy a new oven." = I NEED BUY NEW O-V-E-N.
If perhaps you were chatting with a close friend who has prior
knowledge of your "oven" you might use a topicalized sentence such
My oven? I need buy new one. = "MY O-V-E-N?-[eyebrows up]. I
NEED BUY NEW ONE."
The fact is that the word "oven" is very simple to spell and in
real, everyday conversation with other native Deaf, most native
adult Deaf people are not inclined to use a two handed
movement-intense sign to express a concept that can be expressed in
4/5ths of a second via fingerspelling.
However, the concept of "oven" is related to and in many cases
overlaps with the meaning of the sign for BAKE or the concept of "to
The concept of "bake" or "put it in the oven to bake" is done by
holding your non-dominant forearm out in front of you, bent at the
elbow, parallel to the ground, palm down, pointing to the right if
you are left-handed. That represents the top surface of a
"stove" or "oven." Then take your dominant hand in a flat shape (a
"B" hand) palm up and stick it "into" the "oven" as if placing a
cake or some other food item into an oven. If you use a single
movement it will mean "bake" or "put it into the oven." Thus
the meaning of "oven" is included in the sign "BAKE."
Use a double motion to turn the verb "BAKE" into the noun
OVEN or "baking"
The verb "bake" uses a single motion representing the placing of food in an
Also see: COOK
Also see: BAKE
Likewise, the word "stove" is typically fingerspelled (S-T-O-V-E) by
adult native Deaf signers. Many non-native signers, Hearing
signers, or Deaf children whom have only been exposed to the signing
of Hearing parents, teachers, or interpreters tend to use one of a
couple signs for stove that include signing COOK and then using a
depiction sign (formerly called "classifiers) to show the top and
sides of a stove; or they hold out the non-dominant forearm to
represent the top of a stove and then they use their dominant hand
to twist a few imaginary "knobs" on the stove.
Also see: STOVE
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