We’ve all had them. Those annoying questions that well-meaning people seem to ask you again and again. And again.
Although their query might be perfectly innocent, they’re usually followed by an awkward pause as you work out how to respond, and explain.
But now, thanks to Limping Chicken, you can go out armed. Not with bullets, or a baseball bat – we don’t condone that at all – but with these ten verbal comebacks, designed to help you make your point in a nanosecond, before moving swiftly on to more interesting topics.
They’ve been tested, revised, and rewritten. They really work. But a word of warning. They should be used with extreme care.
It’s great to have someone like you here.
Hey! It’s even better to be greeted by someone like you! Your employer’s clearly very forgiving.
Is lipreading an exact science?
I’m not sure lapdancing is any kind of science at all. Why?
Can you tell him that we appreciate him coming here?
Can you tell her that I’m her client, not my interpreter. Speak to me.
You speak really well for a deaf person!
Thanks! You speak fairly well for a hearing person.
You were born deaf? What’s that like?
What’s it like to be born hearing? Maybe we can both educate each other?
I don’t like subtitles.
No worries. I don’t like sound!
You’re very brave.
Sorry, you must be confusing me for my uncle who’s beaten cancer twice. You know him? I’ll say hello!
Is sign language the same all over the world?
Yes! Just like all spoken languages are the same in every country… aren’t they?
You can drive? Is that legal?
We need a licence to drive? I wondered why that police car was following me.
My auntie used to have a deaf dog!
My auntie used to have a hearing dog. Wow! We’re definitely going to get along!
Charlie Swinbourne is the editor of Limping Chicken, as well as being a journalist and award-winning scriptwriter. He writes for the Guardian and BBC Online, and as a scriptwriter, penned My Song, Coming Out and Four Deaf Yorkshiremen.
The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. It is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
Please note that the views of the writers are their own, and not necessarily the views of the Editor or site as a whole. Read our disclaimer here.
- Phonak: innovative technology and products in hearing acoustics
- Ai-Live: Find out how audism affects Deaf people
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Clarion: BSL/English interpreting and employment services
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- Hearing Direct: Online hearing aids
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: online BSL learning and teaching materials
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- Krazy Kat: visual theatre with BSL
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- DCAL: Find out how to study at the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre, London
- cSeeker: Deaf-led educational communication support service
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- Sarah Gatford: BSL interpreting, training and consultancy
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- Sign Solutions:, language and learning
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- SDHH: Project Development and Consultancy
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people
- deafPLUS: Money advice line in BSL
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists