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American Sign Language: "pain"


The sign for "hurt" is made by extending the index fingers of both hands.  Bring the fingers toward each other twice using a jabbing movement. 

A variation of this sign is to do a twisting movement as you bring the tips of the index fingers toward each other. The right hand twists one way and the left hand twists the other.

Note:  Both versions of the sign for "HURT / PAIN" can be done on or near the part of the body that is feeling pain.  For example if you have a toothache, you can indicate that in one sign by doing the sign "hurt" near the side of your jaw.  If you have a headache, you can indicate it by signing "hurt" near your forehead. Personally, for a general headache or toothache I use the double jab movement.  But if it is a "killer" headache I do a single strong twist of each hand simultaneously.


Version 1 of the sign for "pain" or "hurt" uses a twisting movement. This sign is good for concepts like "injured."

HURT / PAIN Version 1: 


Memory aid: "Sticking two knives into your ribs and twisting them would hurt eh?"


Also see: animation: HURT


Remember, USE FACIAL EXPRESSION with this sign. The more it hurts, the more facial contortions.

ASL is a language that depends heavily on facial expressions.  If you are in "SERIOUS PAIN" then you need to show it on your face.


 

Version: HURT / pain / throbbing / aching
 Use a double jabbing movement.



 


Optional / Advanced discussion:
(Not needed for class)

In a message dated 10/31/2007 9:23:20 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, lalaliv314@ writes:
If the sign for pain/hurt can be signed over the body part that's hurting, how would you indicate that your hand or finger(s) hurt?
 
Thank you very much, 
°Kami
Kami,
Hey, that is a clever question!
Lucky you -- I've got a clever answer.
Just point to or hold up the finger that has the "owie" and then do the generic sign for "pain."
Or if it is your hand that hurts then do the sign for "HAND" (or spell H-A-N-D) and then sign PAIN.
The concept of "hurt" is quite often expressed by spelling the word "hurt" very quickly near the location of the pain.  The spelling of "hurt" can actually take the form of "lexicalized fingerspelling."  (Check out the topic of lexicalized fingerspelling at the Lifeprint.com library.)   When used at the location of the pain this sign is also considered to be a "locative" sign.
In response to your question about "how would you indicate that your hand or finger(s) hurt?" -- I'd do the sign for "hands" and then sign "pain."  Or if it was a specific point on my hand I'd point to it and sign "pain."  If it were my "left" elbow, I'd likely just spell "hurt" (as a lexicalized version) near the elbow, while using appropriate facial expression.
Cordially,
Dr. Bill

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