Americans should be aware that the gesture has multiple meanings at home, too — in recent years, the OK symbol has been linked with white supremacy groups. The meanings of non-verbal language can change from one culture to another as much as to have the opposite connotation. The thumbs-up gesture is a sign of approval in most countries. People will likely be more bemused than hurt if you slip up. Thumbs up & thumbs up emoji. The Meaning of Hand Gestures in different Countries Thumbs up. It is pretty much used as the same way as done in other countries. 1. Are there any other hand gestures you know that mean something completely different in other countries? The gesture “thumb-up” is also commonly misinterpreted. It's used the same way the middle finger is in the US. It is worth looking into different hand gestures when you ... Thumbs up. Contrary to Hollywood legend, Roman gladiators were not spared by a thumbs-up, but by a hidden thumb. The thumbs up, the "OK" sign, and crossing your fingers are all examples of gestures that are vulgar in certain places outside the US. Learn all about body language and discover 10 ways that people from around the world express themselves... without ever opening their mouths! Understand cultural differences in body language. 1 decade ago. You may thing you're telling someone they're A-OK , or being encouraging by giving a thumbs up, but in different countries around the world, hand … This gesture goes back to Ancient Roman times. South Korea: It’s a similar gesture, but without the rubbing, to make a small heart. Luckily body language can help us communicate when words fail to do so. Thumbs up 3. By clicking ‘Sign up’, you agree to receive marketing emails from Business Insider I am researching the meaning of different gestures in different countries. Some hand gestures that are innocent in the United States are offensive in other countries. V-sign with palm facing away from the speaker Many thanks! There, it's used to mock cuckolds — husbands whose wives are unfaithful. The Importance of Cultural Awareness The Vietnamese people have a different meaning to the popular gesture. No playing "Heads Up 7-Up" in Thailand, Iran, Afghanistan, and Greece. Other studies suggest they come from WWII pilots signalling each other in the air. Thumbs up 3. I am researching the meaning of different gestures in different countries. In much of the world today, the thumbs up means, "O.K. An essential daily guide to achieving the good life. The thumbs up sign in Middle Eastern countries, Iran, Iraq and Thailand, is an extremely obscene gesture, equivalent to flipping the finger in Europe. A hand gesture that is commonly used among all Filipino is thumbs up. While we may think we’re showing a sign of approval (or asking for a ride) when we flash a thumbs-up sign or emoji, it has the opposite effect in middle east countries like Iran and Iraq and even in some spots of Italy and Greece. Heavy metal fans are familiar with the so-called "sign of the horns" or "devil horns," made by extending the index finger and pinky. No playing "Heads Up 7-Up" in Thailand, Iran, Afghanistan, and Greece. America: Good. Be aware though – not all hand gestures have the same meaning in all countries! Twist your wrist clockwise and anticlockwise about three times, without changing the position of your V-sign (middle and index finger) with palm facing the speaker 4. V-sign (middle and index finger) with palm facing the speaker 4. V-sign with palm facing away from the speaker Many thanks! It is derogatory to use on people. This gesture of agreement or approval is an easy reflex when language barriers are at play. Here are a few examples of gestures and what they mean in different countries around the globe that might even surprise you. Can anyone tell me what the below mean in China? Try to avoid it in Thailand, though, where it’s a sign of condemnation. America: It either indicates "fancy" when drinking tea or it's a sign that you're making a promise that should not be broken, also called a pinky swear. The OK-sign (circle with thumb and index finger) 2. ", "Yes", or "I approve." V-sign (middle and index finger) with palm facing the speaker 4. When we go overseas, sometimes language can be a barrier. The thumbs-up signals approval in the U.S. and on Facebook, but in … Can anyone tell me what the below mean in China? With your elbow bent and held in front of your stomach, hold your right hand at the level of your neck with all of the fingers pointing towards it and your palm down. The thumbs up gesture is used on the logo of Thums Up, a popular brand of cola from India. So next time you're trying to hitchhike in, say, Tuscany, you should reconsider before sticking out your thumb. “Unfortunately, in Iran and neighboring countries like Afghanistan, the thumbs-up is equivalent to the middle finger!” explains Dana Hooshmand, an author for Discover Discomfort, a … The same hand gestures could mean different things in other countries. America: Means hoping for good luck.Vietnam: It is thought to resemble female genitals, and is similar to giving the middle finger.ASL: The sign for the letter R. America: Usually used by rockers, when the index and pinky are raised it is a sign of approval or “rock on!”Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Spain, Italy, Portugal: This sign is made at someone to tell them that their spouse is cheating on them. Source(s): Been deployed to Iraq … The softer and more common one is done with your whole hand. 1. Can anyone tell me what the below mean in Japan? Italy: The chin flick. OK sign. Putting your thumb and index finger of one hand together. Thumbs up/down, "OK", pointing at someone or yourself, rubbing fingers together ("money" in the US), even waving with your left hand. Saying goodbye the way Americans do it can be interpreted in some parts of Europe and Latin America as the sign for saying ‘no’. Suggest a correction. … In certain Commonwealth countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, an outward-facing V sign is an obscene gesture equivalent to giving someone the middle finger. A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation. While the thumbs-up symbol may be a sign of approval in Western culture, traditionally in Greece and the Middle East it has been interpreted as vulgar and even offensive. So here are five gestures that could get you a punch in the face in other countries 1. The gesture is often performed by flicking the V up from the wrist or elbow. Making a circle with your thumb and your index finger … As the American usage of a thumbs-up as “O.K.” expanded in the 20th Century, older negative meanings remained in some areas of the world. The 'V' sign, made by holding up the index and middle fingers, initially was used to signal victory by Allied nations during World War II. The meaning of the thumbs up signal depends on context in these countries, but it is usually positive since it can mean anything from “You’re number one” to “Good luck.” In Brazil, it means “Thanks.” However, in Iran, Greece and Sardinia, the thumbs up sign is comparable to giving the middle finger in the US. America: Used to imitate an Italian gesture.Italy: Used when something is unclear. Body language in different cultures varies greatly! Pointing Finger: Often a Rude Gesture in Any Country or Culture. You often show agreement or approval by using the thumbs up emoji but in Nigeria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran, it means ”sit on it,” which is a very obscene gesture. Traveling to an Arab country can definitely be colorful because of the enormous amount of gesticulation that Arabs do while talking. Knowing how to sign numbers is especially useful when bargaining in China. Starting in 2007, the thumbs-up also appeared on India's one-rupee coin. The thumbs up emoji is, for many of us, an easy way to convey our approval or agreement without having to type actual words. Thumbs up. But in many European and South American countries, including Italy, Spain, Greece, Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia, the gesture has a more obscene meaning. 3. In this article, we'll discuss why it's important to be aware of the different meanings body language has in different countries and cultures. However, the going good sign translates into a rude and offensive gesture in Islamic and Asian countries. For them it is like giving them the finger. Thumbs Up. … Which of these hand gestures do you use a lot and what do they mean when you use them? America: It’s not commonly used, but it means an animal ears or horns. It is also used when crossing the street and this is humorously known as the “God hand” because it seems as though you have the power to stop cars. V-sign … The thumbs up is one of the most popular hand gestures, but it has greatly different meanings depending on where you use it. The same hand gestures could mean different things in other countries. But not in Vietnam. Richard Nixon once raised some eyebrows in the 1950s when he made the gesture in Brazil as he stepped off a plane. Can anyone tell me what the below mean in Turkey? Thumbs Down to Thumbs Up. Hand gestures mean different things in different countries. Read on, or watch the video, to see the hand gestures you definitely don't want to make overseas. Thumbs up 3. as well as other partner offers and accept our, David Anderson, Matthew Stuart, Mark Abadi, Shayanne Gal, insulting and scatological connotations,". Below are ten common North American gestures that can cause offense abroad. what does a thumbs up mean in other countries? You might think the gestures you grew up with are universal, but chances are, the innocent gesture you make at home means something very different in another country. Newsletter Sign Up. What is considered a cool sign may be a grave insult in another country. V-sign (middle and index finger) with palm facing the speaker 4. For example, in some countries, pointing a finger at a person is considered an insult, which is why in the U.S. we tell children “don’t point.” While in Italy pointing is used to indicate a direction. Japan: The symbol of a lover or significant other.ASL: The sign for the letter I. America, Ecuador: “Come here.” This gesture is also used when seducing someone.Philippines: It’s only used to call a dog. ring gesture. Although, it has a very rude sexual connotation in Islamic countries, Cerdeña and Greece. Anonymous. Just ask any traveler who's given a thumbs-up in Afghanistan. Don’t make the same mistake as Richard Nixon, who visited Brazil and flashed the “Ok sign” to a waiting crowd, but was responded to with boos. We mean to say one thing, but the locals understood it to be something else. It means “love.”. Thumbs-up in Thailand. Favorite Answer In some areas such as the middle east the thumbs up can be seen as a form of disrespect. It shows that the signer is not happy. A symbol for scuba divers everywhere, this sign is actually super rude in some countries. This gesture is often seen in Filipino culture when people try to let others know they did well. The thumbs up emoji is, for many of us, an easy way to convey our approval or agreement without having to type actual words. In America, this usually means, "Great job!" Thumbs Up. The connection is obvious to people from those countries: the word for "cuckold" in Italian, Spanish, and Greek is the same word for "horned.". If the origins of both gestures are linked, we can only assume this meant, "Do not kill the prisoner, he seems the perfect solution to the emperor's arthritic finger." America, Germany: The thumb rubs repeatedly over the tip of the index finger and middle finger to indicate money. Forearm jerk. The “V” gesture. In Australia, US, UK, Russia and Canada this is seen as a sign of approval or good job. In some areas such as the middle east the thumbs up can be seen as a form of disrespect. All those gestures have offensive connotations away from American soil. In the United States, American Sign Language users use a single thumb up tilted slightly and rapidly left and right to … I am researching the meaning of different gestures in different countries. A natural response to someone saying or doing something cool is a thumbs-up. The most common interpretation of this sign is as a sing of approval (there is even a metaphor in English: The proposal was given a thumbs-up), but there are some countries where it may be an insult or where it will not be understood. The OK-sign (circle with thumb and index finger) 2. But wherever it derives, the positive “thumbs up” in Western cultures is a big no-no in other countries, such as Greece, Italy, and some throughout the … The thumbs up sign in most American and European cultures meaning things are going according to your plans or something you approve of. Thumbs up/down, "OK", pointing at someone or yourself, rubbing fingers together ("money" in the US), even waving with your left hand. The fingers all together sign, which means a lot of things in India Best bet is to carefully read up on the subject before leaving your country. It is often used just to be silly or to imitate an animal while playing with children.Japan: Also known as the “demon horns,” index fingers pointing up behind the head is used to describe that the signer is angry. Making a circle with your thumb and your index finger is how to signal "OK" in the US. The OK-sign (circle with thumb and index finger) 2. V-sign with palm facing away from the speaker Many thanks! It’s akin to one child sticking a … Thumbs up is a gesture that means good, alright or ok. English-speaking Caucasians use it to signal ‘OK’, which is same meaning as O.K. But as it turns out, not all hand signals are created equal. Not only could your intended message get lost in translation, you could actually end up offending or otherwise causing an unintentional, but inappropriate and unfortunate circumstance for yourself. Account active The thumbs-up sign has been confusing people for thousands of years. However, in Latin America, West Africa and Iran the thumbs up basically means an “up yours.” If you really want to be offensive, you can thrust your thumb upwards to emphasize the offensive message, but odds are you really just want to avoid it. China: This is the same as giving the thumbs down sign. The OK-sign (circle with thumb and index finger) 2. America: The thumb between the index and middle fingers represents the nose stolen from a kid’s face in the “I’ve Got Your Nose” game.Turkey: An obscene gesture similar to the middle finger, and is also used to show disagreement or to deny a request.Brazil: A good luck charm to ward off the evil eye and jealousy.Indonesia: An offensive gesture.American Sign Language (ASL): The sign for the letter T. America: Peace. Things can get lost in translation, though, when a typical gesture from your country means something completely different in other parts of the world. The ‘thumbs up’ sign is used in many cultures to mean ‘OK’, in France it can mean number 1. Thumbs-up definition is - an instance or gesture of approval or encouragement. In India, the thumbs up, combined with a wagging of the fist means, “I doubt that will work.” A thumbs up is an important sign in scuba diving, where it means, “stop the dive and ascend.” The thumbs-up sign consists of a closed fist held with the thumb extended upward. Sometimes the gesture is made with the 3 fingers at the bottom.Brazil: A rude gesture. Or someone who's crossed their fingers in Vietnam or signaled "OK" in Brazil. America: Waving the hand left and right, with the palm facing the side in front of your face, indicates that something smells bad.Japan: It means “no.” “No can do,” “Impossible,” or even “No, thank you” are also expressed with this gesture. As the American usage of a thumbs-up as “O.K.” expanded in the 20th Century, older negative meanings remained in some areas of the world. America: Means “stop,” the number 5, or “talk to the hand.”Greece, Sindh (Pakistan): Called the “moutza” or “mountza” and is considered an insult.Mexico, Panama: Used to say “hi,” but when steady or moving it repeatedly toward the receiver it means, “You’ll see!” warning that the giver is going to tell an authority figure.Malaysia: Can be used to say hi to someone you know, to call a waiter, and to say thank you to another driver. There are two neck cutting gestures with very different meanings. In English, it is popularly known as 'thumbs up', despite the fact that the action is commonly performed with only one hand. America: Okay.Japan: Money. It's just not nice. Best bet is to carefully read up on the subject before leaving your country. 1. And you could get arrested for using it. 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