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8 rude gestures from around the world

By / 12.23.13
rude-gestures-the-world

Thumbs up image by Shutterstock


Let’s get this rude, mean and obscene look at gestures from around the world started with a time-honored quote: “F*ck you, f*ck you, you’re cool, and f*ck you.” – Scarface, Half Baked 1998. To learn how to say “f*ck you” without actually saying it in many countries around the globe, read on. Got any other rude gestures to share? Let us know in the comments.

8 The Left Handshake

left-handshake

Left handshake image by Shutterstock


Where is it found? Many Muslim countries.

What does it mean? The right hand is used for eating and shaking hands, while the left is used for cleaning yourself. Since toilet paper can be scarce in developing parts of the world, “cleaning yourself” with the left hand includes wiping your ass after using the toilet. So using your left hand to eat or hand something to someone or shake their hand is considered a rude and insulting gesture. Yep, wiping your ass with your bare hand is business as usual, but using a perfectly clean left hand for pretty much anything is not cool.

7 The Chin Flick


Where is it found? Italy, France, Belgium, Tunisia and American mafia movies.

What does it mean? The chin flick is typically used at the end of an argument and means “get lost” or “get out of here and don’t come back.”

6 The Idiota (Fist to Forehead)

idiota

Idiota image by Shutterstock


Where is it found? Brazil and sometimes England, Wales and Scotland.

What does it mean? With “Idiota” – a simple fist to the forehead that references a mentally handicapped person aiming an ice cream cone at their mouth and accidentally planting it slightly above – the gesturer asks the gesturee, “Are you a frikin’ idiot?”

5 The Thumbs Up

thumbs-up

Thumbs Up image by Shutterstock


Where is it found? Iran.

What does it mean? A thumbs up roughly translates to what the middle finger means in the United States: “up yours.”

4 The Five Fathers


Where is it found? In many Muslim countries.

What does it mean? It means that you have five fathers and one mother, or that “your mother is a whore, Trebek.” And that you’re probably a bastard too. Ouch.

3 The OK Sign

ok-sign

OK sign image by Shutterstock


Where is it found? Brazil.

What does it mean? The “OK” gesture is the middle finger of choice for Brazilians. So if the waiter asks how your food is, make sure to give him the thumbs up, not the A-OK. Unless he’s from Iran, of course.

2 The Bras d’honneur (Iberian Finger)


Where is it found? This originated on the Iberian Peninsula and is found in countries where Spanish, French or Portuguese are spoken.

What does it mean? Also referred to as the “Iberian finger” or “Iberian slap” (which I believe is also the name of a fatally dangerous sex move), this is yet another version of the middle finger, meaning “up yours.”

1 The Middle Finger

middle-finger

Middle Finger image by Shutterstock


Where is it found? The U.S.

What does it mean? The almighty middle finger dates all the way back to Ancient Greece as a symbol of anal intercourse. The middle finger is meant to symbolize a phallus that is ready to plunder, degrade and intimidate. It’s the primary obscene gesture in the United States and doesn’t have the delicate connotations of brutal ass sex that the Ancient Greeks were conveying. Instead it’s a nice & simple “fuck you, fuck off, or go fuck yourself.”


TAGSArbitrary RankingsBras d’honneurChin FlickfeaturedFist to ForeheadFive FathersIberian fingerIdiotaLeft HandshakeListsMiddle Fingeroffensive hand gesturesOK Signrude hand gesturesThumbs Up
Jason Epstein
About Jason Epstein... Jason Epstein is a nationally published freelance writer living in the greater NYC area. He's known for his close friends/good conversations/playing bass/wind in the face/rocking out/reading up/holding it down/good times/turning on dimes/and sometimes trying to rhyme(s). He can be reached at his website and you can follow him on Twitter here.

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