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American Sign Language: "lame"


This sign shows the movement of a lame person's legs.




A colleague writes:
Hi Bill,
Re:  The sign you show for 'lame' in your Lifeprint Dictionary.
That is a familiar sign, one I've used for years.
My question is this:  If we are referring to a 'lame excuse' or want to say that someone gave a 'lame' speech, what sign would we use? Would we use the sign for 'weak; feeble?'  Or not?
Thank you.
[Name on File]

Dear [name]
A couple of thoughts on this.
First thought is that some people consider the use of the word "lame" should not be applied to contexts other than a person or animal that is actually "lame" in the physical sense.
Such people are offended by and/or disapprove of the use of the word "lame" as a derogatory term.

As far as ASL signs I suggest: LOUSY, BAD, NG-[no-good], STUPID, or DUMB.  You might also use something like, "YOUR EXCUSE? I NOT ACCEPT!" or "YOUR EXCUSE? I NOT SATISFY."
- Dr. Bill

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