How to Say Underwear in Sign Language

Welcome to this comprehensive guide on how to say “underwear” in sign language. Whether you’re learning sign language for personal interest or to communicate with the Deaf community, it’s crucial to understand formal and informal sign language variations. Let’s dive in and explore the different ways to express “underwear” in sign language, along with useful tips and examples.

Formal Sign Language

In formal sign language, it’s important to use proper signs that are recognized by the wider Deaf community. When referring to “underwear,” the following sign is commonly used:

Sign: Form a loose fist with both hands and hold them in front of your body. Place your fists together, with one hand slightly overlapping the other. Move your fists back and forth a few times to indicate wearing underwear.

Remember to maintain a neutral facial expression and use smooth, controlled motions while signing. Being respectful and clear in your signs is key when communicating formally in sign language.

Informal Sign Language

Informal sign language may vary between regions and groups within the Deaf community. While it’s always important to use formal signs when needed, informal sign language can provide insights into how people communicate more casually. Here is an example of how “underwear” can be signed informally:

Sign: Hold one hand at your hip, palm facing inward. Use your other hand to poke the side of your first hand with your index finger a few times.

Informal signs often reflect the everyday language used by individuals within a specific community. However, it’s essential to note that using informal signs with someone you’re not familiar with may be seen as disrespectful or inappropriate. Always gauge the formality of a situation before using informal signs.

Tips and Regional Variations

When learning sign language, it’s important to consider regional variations that may exist. While the signs described above are prevalent, some regional differences might occur. Here are a few tips and regional variations to be aware of:

1. Consult Local Resources

If you are learning a specific sign language, such as American Sign Language (ASL) or British Sign Language (BSL), seek out local resources such as community centers, educational institutions, or Deaf organizations. These resources can provide guidance on the most widely accepted signs in your area.

2. Be Open to Learning Different Signs

Sign language evolves and adapts over time, just like any other language. Different regions may have their own unique signs for “underwear.” Embrace the opportunity to learn from native signers and be open to incorporating regional variations into your signing repertoire.

3. Understand Cultural Sensitivities

When using sign language, it’s crucial to respect cultural sensitivities. Some signs may have different meanings or connotations in different cultures. Take the time to understand the cultural context in which you are learning and communicating sign language.

4. Practice and Attend Sign Language Events

The more you immerse yourself in the Deaf community, the better you will become at understanding regional variations and informal signs. Attend sign language events, socialize with the Deaf community, and practice signing with different individuals to refine your skills.

5. Adapt and Grow

Remember that sign language is a dynamic and living language. Stay open-minded and willing to adapt as you encounter new signs or regional variations. Sign language is a beautiful way to communicate, and understanding and respecting the nuances of it will enhance your abilities as a signer.


Learning how to say “underwear” in sign language requires an understanding of both formal and informal variations. Remember to use the formal sign in formal situations to ensure clear communication. However, when familiar with the Deaf community, be open to informal signs, which may vary based on region or group preferences. Regional variations should always be respected and learned from native signers, while also considering cultural sensitivities. As you continue your sign language journey, remember to practice, attend events, and adapt to your ever-growing abilities. Sign language is a vibrant and meaningful way to connect with others, and with continued dedication, you will become a skilled and respectful signer.

Leave comment