The Limping Chicken

The first question many hearing people ask sign language users is often how to sign a swear word.

I still remember my Mum collaring me after a day at primary school because, outside the school gates, one of my friends had fingerspelled S-H-O-T to her, before running away, laughing. My mother’s a sharp woman, and she’d quickly guessed that he’d got the ‘O’ and ‘I’ letters mixed up. She wasn’t best pleased about the results of my amateur attempts at teaching my classmates a little deaf awareness.

In more recent times, many Deafies have become annoyed at the sheer number of hearing people who love showing us the one sign they know. “Bullsh*t.” Clearly, being able to swear without having to actually verbalise a word really gets hearing people excited.

I’m not saying there’s no fun to be had in showing hearing people how to swear in another language –…

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