File: GESTURES

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Here is a list of the non-middle-finger obscene hand gestures that people
have told me about. I haven't drawn them all yet.

Do you know any obscene hand gestures not described in this file? Please
email them to me at <kohler@icir.org>! Please say if you don't want your
email address included in this file.

--------

"ARAB CULTURE"

If the finger goes forward instead of up it is equally offensive in Arab
culture.  I hpe it adds to your collection of cultural offensive
behavior

<jfcannin@cbcc.bcwan.net>


--------

BRAZIL

In Brazil the "OK" sign is the equivalent of the middle finger.

Daniel Harris <dannyboy@subdimension.com>


--------

CENTRAL AMERICA

[see SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICA]


--------

ENGLAND

make a victory sign (v) with palms facing yourself and back of hand
toward victim.  It means the same as the bird in England.

<pizzle@gte.net>

- - - -

I was told by a friend in England (alot of English don't even know this!)
of the origins of the peace-sign, with the back of the hand facing the
person being flipped-off. She told me that in the earlier part of the
millenium, when England and France were frequently at battle, the French
would cut-off the fingers (necessary for shooting an arrow) from the
archers, they had taken as prisoner. After this became known to the english
archers, they would flash this gesture to the French in the battle-field,
thus telling them that they still had their fingers and could still cause
some damage in battle. At the moment, I'm trying to find documentation on
this, but I saw your page and thought I might as well share the story.

<ADyken@aol.com>

- - - -

I just noticed that you're looking for rude gestures from other
cultures.  Appropriate to your current surroundings, I believe that a
"peace" symbol (I think with the back of the hand facing forward) is
rude in England.  Last time I flew over, a guy asked for two drinks,
and made that sign.  The stewardess warned him about possible
misunderstanding.

John Jannotti <jj@lcs.mit.edu>

- - - -

If you make the "V for victory" sign, such that the curled fingers
are facing towards you, (the backs of the two fingers are facing the
person) this gesture is offensive in England.

There was an article in a magazine about such gestures, but I don't
know where it is any more.  I think the "OK" symbol is offensive
in some parts of the world, actually.

Tim Park <tim@fiction.org>

- - - -

...

Oh, I've just remembered another one. The cuckold sign. With you right
hand, make the "two-fingers" sign, putting your thumb against the back of
your head. This looks a little like a pair of rabbit's ears (OK, with a
good dose of imagination). Alternatively, close both hands, and extend the
index finger of each. Apply these to the temples. (Like the geeky on in
Waynesworld when singing "Foxy Lady").

Both these two gestures are meant to represent horns. When done towards
a man, it means "Your wife (or girlfriend) is cheating on you".
This sign is widespread in England and in France (don't know about
elsewhere).

On the subject of the English "two fingers" sign, I've heard two
versions of its origin.

1. It is derived from the "Arab Nose Jerk" (though I have not tried to
establish the real existence of this gesture in Arab cultures). You
close you hand, extend first and middle fingers. Put a finger either
side of your nose, with the back of your hand towards the other person.
Now gently jerk your hand up and down, so the end of your nose twitches.
Note the resemblance with the Italian gesture.

2. My preferred story. During the Hundred Years War, between the English
and the French, the French boasted that they would win at Agincourt, and
cut off the first two fingers of the renowned English bowmen that they
were going to take prisoner. Well, the English won, and the French
prisoners were made to shuffle pas the English bowmen who taunted them
by waving their two fingers that had effectively won the battle.

Keith Rhodes <krhodes@teaser.fr>

- - - -

Subject: "Victory" V

There seems to be some misunderstanding about the meaning of different V 
signs over here in rainy ol' England.

The V with the palm facing away is a sign for peace.

The V with the palm facing towards the oneself is the rude one. This is 
also the one that comes from English bowmen. This seems to be much less 
common nowadays though, with the middle finger on it's own coming into 
greater use.

Gerard L Thornley <gerard@gerardlt.org.uk>

- - - -

Another gesture would be the one for "Wanker", which involves (usually
the right hand) with all the fingers curved like a very, very loosely
clenched fist with the thumb and index finger tips touching.

With the hand held at an angle of 45 degrees from the vertical and the
palm facing inwards, you then oscillate the hand from the wrist in the
appropriate manner.

This may be UK specific and perhaps needed no further description apart
from the title... :-)

Ben Curry

P.S.:

> THanks for your gesture!

Pleasure, just doing my bit for a multi-cultural society.


--------

GERMANY

just wanted to tell you that people on the streets of Germany will also
recognize the gesture for what it is meant for in Russia.

...

Was that the fist with the raised middle finger? Yes this means fuck you
over here (a raised cock with balls). Same as the russian one with the
thumb between index and middle finger (more the process of fucking  - a
cock in a vagina...). Usually you also move the thumb a little up and
down in there ;-)

Cheers!

Anonymous <anonymous@anonymous.de>


--------

GREECE

Here's another one for you. I got it from "How to Hold a Crocodile"
(Diagram group). I'm quoting it from memory, and I've not read this
entry for about three years, but I think I've got it down accurately...
You should be able to find a copy in a library, in any case.

In Greece, there is a sign called "moutza", that means "go to the devil"
(although it's taken to be more offensive than this phrase in the UK).

1st degree (mildly offensive)
Fist closed, except for index and middle finger extended. Back of hand
towards self.

2nd degree
Hand open, palm towards other person.

3rd degree
Both hands open, arms extended towards other person, as if pushing him
away.

4th degree
Both hands open, arms extended towards other person (as 3rd degree).
Also, one foot extended towards other person.

5th degree (extremely offensive) (must be sitting to do this)
Both hands open, arms extended towards other person (as 3rd degree).
Both feet extended towards other person.

Keith Rhodes <krhodes@teaser.fr>


--------

ITALY

In Italy, a reverse V sign, with knuckles facing the 
viewer, also means fuck you. A variation of this 
gesture is to insert your nose at the crotch of the V.
The "variation" is perhaps the original gesture. I
gather that the nose is supposed to be a penis and
the V a woman's private parts.
Or rather spread legs.

Name withheld by request


--------

IRAN

Some gestures I have found are the "thumbs-up" which is obscene in Iran. It
literally means "go screw yourself".
<Middle811@aol.com>


--------

ISRAEL

a rude hand gesture in israel is to point down at your upturned palm
with the forefinger of your other hand.  This means "grass will grow on
my hand" before the words of the speaker come true.
<qksilver415@aol.com>


--------

JAPAN

In Japan, inserting the thumb between the first two 
fingers, in imitation of the clitoris, means something
like fuck you.

Name withheld by request


--------

KOREA

If you're in Korea (or around Koreans), NEVER play "got your nose" with
little kids: If you make a fist and put your thumb between your index
finger and middle finger, you're essentially saying "fuck you." I've
also been told, but have not really verified that if you stick your
thumb between your middle finger and ring finger you're essentially
saying "fuck you in the ass."

Rude enough?

Ivon Katz <ivon@imagination.co.kr>


--------

POLAND


In Poland we use the same as Russia - but it's not too offensive.
The correct & polish fuck-you-gesutre takes your whole arms to do ...

Put your right forearm horizontally and close to your body.
Flex your left arm. Put your right wrist on the inside of the elbow.
Here you are.

Michal Pasternak <doc@safenet.pl>


--------

RUSSIA

in russian it is a clenched fist with the thumb going between
the first and second fingers(i think kinda like an m in sign language
altho i fergot m,n,t, its one of those....i think)

...

> hi yan,
>
> would you normally show this to someone with the back of the hand facing
> them, or the palm side?
>
> thanks!
> ed

  its with a clenched fist with the thumb facing towards the person

Yan Pritzker <skwp@thepentagon.com>


--------

SOUTH/CENTRAL AMERICA

--Flicking someone off--the preferred way to do it in Ecuador, Colombia,
Peru, Venezuela (most of south/central america) is with the pointer and
ring fingers bent at the first knuckle, and the knuckles slightly ahead of
the finger--thus symbolizing genatalia.

--Whereas this gesture is perceived as a dismissive "nevermind" in the US,
throwing your palm-down hand towards the ground (bending your wrist) is
interpreted in latin cultures as implying that someone is homosexual--and
a sure-fire way to start a fight.

--Holding your hands, palms in and slightly down, at sternum level and
shaking them (rotationally) is similar in meaning to shaking your head,
but is also fairly dismissive and impolite.

Phillip O. Knoll <pknoll@gac.edu>


--------

UNKNOWN/UNSURE

I'm not sure which country the following gesture comes from, but my
guess is somewhere in Africa or middle-east, correct me if I'm wrong. I
heard this from a "User Interfaces" course lecturer. Ok, the gesture:
If you casually raise your hand meaning to say 'hi' with your open palm
facing another person, it means 'I throw dirt on your face'. I hear this
is a rather harsh insult. Comparable to 'fuck you' or even worse.

I recall that some version of MSWindows has this gesture as a "stop" or
"attention" sign. Wonder what they might think of it... :)

Heikki Junnila <heikki.junnila@nemo.fi>