PEN in sign language

Pen is like a magic wand that can manifest abstract concepts onto paper for writers and poets. With a few strokes of the pen, the words manifest on a paper that can communicate with readers across generations and geography.

ASL signs for PEN

"How do you sign "pen" in American Sign Language (ASL)?" There are two common signwords.

Meaning: an object to write on (paper, document, etc.)

Pronunciation (sign description): Dominant "20" or "baby O" handshape with thumb and forefinger together pointing toward non-dominant palm-up flat hand moves in a brief "N-like" motion.

Variation (sign description): Fingerspelling is also very commonly used.


Deaf Culture

In the old days, paper and pen used to be indispensable that Deaf people typically carried them with them whenever they went out, especially in the 20th century. These days, smartphone has been another "paper and pen" option. Though, many Deaf people just speak in ASL -- something like a request for paper and pen -- and then servers would provide a paper and pen.

For a Deaf-friendly service, when some Deaf people speak in ASL to a hearing person, in most cases, a hearing server gets a pen, presses on the cashier to roll up a piece of blank receipt paper and tear it, and hand them to Deaf customers. Or a receptionist would get a pen and a notepad, sometimes a pack of stickers whatever is available. Some Deaf people can speak and lipread, while some other Deaf don't and/or prefer paper-and-pen communication.

In some situations, hearing servers write on the paper. In other situations, workers, especially in the renovation or repair services, often use "voice to text" on their smartphones. In some cases, they type on their phones and show Deaf customers or send texts to Deaf customers even they both are present. Sometimes, mediums are used in the mix.

First 100 words.

  1. again
  2. also
  3. ask
  4. bad
  5. boy
  6. but
  7. can
  8. come
  9. deaf
  10. different
  11. drink
  12. drive
  13. eat
  14. email
  15. excuse
  16. family
  17. feel
  18. few
  19. find
  20. fine
  21. fingerspell
  22. finish
  23. food
  24. for
  25. forget
  26. friend
  27. get
  28. girl
  29. give
  30. go
  31. good
  32. have, has, had
  33. he
  34. hearing
  35. hello
  36. help
  37. home
  38. how
  39. Internet
  40. know
  41. later
  42. like (feeling)
  43. little
  44. live
  45. man
  46. many
  47. me
  48. meet
  49. more
  50. my
  51. name
  52. need
  53. new
  54. no
  55. not
  56. now
  57. ok, okay
  58. old
  59. other
  60. please
  61. remember
  62. same
  63. say
  64. school
  65. see
  66. she
  67. should
  68. sign, signed word
  69. slow
  70. some
  71. sorry
  72. store
  73. take
  74. tell
  75. text, sms
  76. thank, thank you
  77. their
  78. they
  79. think
  80. time
  81. tired
  82. try
  83. understand
  84. use
  85. wait
  86. want
  87. what
  88. when
  89. where
  90. which
  91. who
  92. why
  93. will
  94. with
  95. woman
  96. work
  97. write
  98. yes
  99. you
  100. your

As you feel more comfortable with the first few hundreds of ASL signs, progress further with your vocabulary and learn signing more.