I am learning American Sign Language (ASL). The other night I was given my 'sign name' by Sheila, my ASL teacher. Essentially this is a shortened form of one's name. I mean, instead of fingerspelling M.A.R.N.I.E. each time I or someone else 'says' my name, a shortened quick gesture is used.
What is very cool is that your sign name should only be given to you by someone who is Deaf. Making up your own or having someone who is 'hearing' give you one is a cultural no-no. It is a sort of rite of passage to have a sign name.
Mine is made by forming the 'M' in fingerspelling and brushing the 'M' sideways against my cheek, from the corner of my mouth up towards my ear but not all the way to my ear, as if to extend that half of my smile. I love it!