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15 Insulting Hand Gestures in Other Countries


Body language is not universal and your hand gestures can mean different things in different parts of the world. You might be offering a friendly motion or angering a foreign stranger with simply hand movements. If you want to know exactly what your hands are saying, you should continue reading below.

Here is an easy to follow guide to hand gestures around the world:

A Okay

The okay sign will offer the meaning of satisfied to those living in the United States, Australia, UK and Canada. However, you should not be looking to make this hand gesture upside down in Brazil. The upside version of the okay sign is a major diss that might get you in serious hot water, because it is pretty much the Brazilian equivalent to the one finger salute.

Horn Fingers

The horn fingers have become a symbol of rock that many people living in the United States have adopted, but other parts of the world are not “rocking along.” In Italy, Brazil, Portugal, Columbia and Spain this hand gesture might start a domestic dispute. Horn fingers in these countries is the equivalent to saying that their spouse is cheating. This is not the type of entrance that you want to make in the Spanish Airport.

What Do Fingers All Together Mean?

In Italy this simple hand gesture asks the question “What is this.” However, if you put your fingers together in the Congo, you are likely asking for a small amount of something. In Turkey you use this hand gesture to elicit beauty, but in Egypt it simply means that you need a minute. Who knew that your fingers could be saying so many different things?

Thumbs Up

The thumbs up is one of the most popular hand gestures, but it has greatly different meanings depending on where you use it. In Australia, US, UK, Russia and Canada this is seen as a sign of approval or good job. However, in Latin America, West Africa and Iran the thumbs up basically means an “up yours.” This is one hand gesture that you want to be careful using when you are away from home. You might not be making friends around the world if you offer thumbs up.

Your hands can speak without saying a word, but you must be careful with what you are saying. Hand gestures are not universal and they often send a confusing message that you may want to take back.

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