This article gives a brief outline of sign names in Russian Deaf culture, their origin and functioning. We provide a definition of sign name and specify its functions within the Deaf community; in doing so we reveal the asymmetry between sign and spoken names. Apart from this, the article briefly describes the process of receiving a sign name when entering the Deaf community. We also list the most typical sources for sign names in Russian Deaf culture. Finally, we sketch a few directions of further research on this and related issues.