Signs for LOL

Note: Use with caution. The fingerspelled loanword "LOL" makes many Deaf people cringe or feel irritated, especially when it's used in wrong contexts or how it's pronounced in a certain way. Be aware of some various factors and contexts.

Looks like this is the longest entry for such a tiny word 'lol'. Ha ha.

Meaning: used to draw attention to a joke or amusing statement, or to express amusement; an abbreviation for "laughing out loud" originated from texting.

[Video contributed by Dan Foley, 2021]. Time and time again, many Deaf people have brought up a discussion about the use of the sign LOL that many Deaf people find it somehow irritating or incorrectly expressed in contexts.

Usage (2020s)

Usage: Deaf people, especially in younger generations, may use this 'lol' (even hearing younger people do use it ('lawl') in spoken form). It's not necessarily literal nor shorthand for "laughing out loud" anymore. It is more of a word to use as a way to scoff or impart a "roll-eyes" response. Or simply as a filler.

Many Deaf people in both younger and older native signers and older generations find this "LOL" usage somehow awkward, inappropriate, annoying, and/or pet-peeve.

Even though, Deaf native/fluent signers, who don't use this 'lol' or find it annoying, may rarely use it as a sarcastic response. Some 'lol' versions in language play may be acceptable in the right contexts (see language play below).

Other recommended possible signs are: HA HA, sign-like SICK but not meaning 'sick', FUNNY, FUNNY-ZERO (for the lack of a English translation), etc.

Deaf Culture and tidbits

Deaf Humor

One commented on a social media in response to the "lol" discussions, "I used LOQ 'laugh out quiet'" with several likes and numerous 'laugh' smileys.

Language Play

Here are some examples of the acceptable usage in some contexts used by native signers in a lighthearted, sarcastic response. Dan Foley gave some examples in his vlog on social media.

Ha ha.

Remember that these may be creatively used by Deaf native signers in a sarcastic, playful or such response.

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