Keywords: sign-name, name-sign

Sign Definition

As a Noun

1. The number name-sign for children in some of the old residential schools for the deaf. It was based on the bed, locker, coat hook, towel hook, or toothbrush hanger number that was painted on it and which each pupil used exclusively. The sign consists of a compound of the sign BOY or GIRL followed by their number made as the hand moves away from the face (chin for boys and cheek for girls). Many teachers and staff only referred to the children by their ‘number name-sign’, not knowing or not caring what the child’s actual name-sign was. Interestingly, some pupils also referred to each other this way as a kind of nickname, even into adulthood. However, in adulthood it was mostly used to refer to other old school friends when reminiscing about school days.