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In certain circles. Such as?

Why A-OK ?[edit]

Why is the discussion of the "okay gesture" under A-OK?. Perhaps title the article "OK (hand gesture)". There doesn't seem to be any basis for calling the gesture "A-OK" and not simply okay.

A-Ok as an article would be better applied to the astronaut usage of the 60's (see the Shorty Powers discussion below) Feldercarb (talk) 00:38, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

"Western" or "Some" Countries[edit]

The sentence that said the gesture is commonly positive in western countries was too vague. Most people would include southern and eastern Europe as part of "The West" and many would also include Brazil. Setting up an opposition between "The West" and "The Rest" isn't very useful. Interlingua talk email 02:55, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

certain parts of middle and southern Europe[edit]

This sign has no offensive meaning in Spain, nor in southern France or Portugal, AFAIK. Maybe this phrase is just inaccurate. Also, the linked "marica" article has nothing to do with the proposed meaning (faggot). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 10:07, 26 January 2007 (UTC).


Sources for my addition (all German): There are several cases of drivers who were fined for showing this gesture. Didn't find any particular cases online yet. If necessary I can look more thoroughly. bossel (talk) 12:41, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Depends on where in Germany you are. In the northern part the meaning is "OK", in Bavaria the meaning is "asshole". --Georg4512 (talk) 07:34, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Someone with a camera and a hand please replace this image[edit]

It was snipped from an spam image cropping the spam link, but it's still a terrible picture (blur/shadow/glare). NTK 19:27, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

You know, it may not be professional quality, but you could do more than just complain about it. You're not helping anything. --Cheeser1 01:25, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
If I had a hand I would do it. (talk) 08:42, 1 September 2009 (UTC)


at least in switzerland, germany, netherland I think it can also mean "excellent" or "perfect" ... what about that?

If you have a source, you may add such information. I think it generally indicates "this is okay, good, positive, etc." "Excellent" or "perfect" seem to fall into that general idea. -Cheeser1 13:24, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

United Macedonia gesture[edit]

How often is this thing used? ForeignerFromTheEast 18:35, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Pretty often though, it's like "hey there!". It's mostly used by patriots (and of course, nationalists), never by people with no national consciousness. Do you have to remove everything that has something Macedonian in it? Why don't you just leave it alone? And do you have to call it "ridiculous"?!? That word is offensive dude! This whole article is unsourced, do you see any sources provided for anything?! How do you expect me to prove that we (the Macedonians) use this salutation? We just do it, OK? I agree that the usage in Pirin and Aegean Macedonia SHOULD be sourced, since it's a bit controversial, but the info about its meaning is just fine and doesn't need any sources. The O-shape (the thumb and the index) are the Sun and the other three fingers are the three parts which the Macedonians consider parts of ethnic Macedonia. I'll remove the info about the usage in Greece and Bulgaria, but I don't see anything wrong in the explanation of its meaning. I hope you agree. Ahh... You don't? Why is that? iNkubusse? 21:21, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
I really don't see why you don't like the explanation (about the meaning of the fingers). And what do you expect me to do in order to prove that it's used by some ethnic Macedonians in Greece and Bulgaria as well? iNkubusse? 22:34, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

A reliable source is what you need. You can't just write what you think about the use of this symbol. Such extensive explanation/analysis of its use requires a source. --Cheeser1 23:11, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Of course I know about the "reliable sources", but what do you think would be reliable enough for this kind of info? The gesture is simply used, and the only possible way for you to believe what it means is to come here and see :) I mean, if you think of anything I can do, please advise me. iNkubusse? —Preceding signed but undated comment was added at 23:40, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
"This is how I see it used" is anecdotal personal experience - not a reliable source (original research, actually). --Cheeser1 00:09, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
The article says that "While the gesture is positive in some countries, in certain parts of middle and southern Europe the gesture is considered offensive". Also, "In Japan it can also mean "0" or "money."". Why don't you need original research and reliable sources for those statements?! I really, really don't see the difference! Please explain to me, I can't understand! Why don't you just remove all the info that's unsourced (i.e. the whole article)?! I'll try to find some newspaper articles, but please tell me the difference between the usage in Macedonia and the usage in (e.g.) Japan! iNkubusse? 01:58, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
To make a long story short, you have made questionable contributions in the past, which have raised suspicion in this case. ForeignerFromTheEast 02:05, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Is that the problem? Than I'm supposed to withdraw from Wikipedia whenever I encounter you or any of your buddies? Hmm... iNkubusse? 09:18, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

I have some pictures, unfortunately they are all in the form of images, are they still reliable enough? [1], [2] (Mostly Serbian three-finger salutes, but one A-ok is visible on the right) [3]. There are more but I cannot find the links. Frightner 14:22, 9 October 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Pictures aren't usually considered reliable sources, especially when we don't know where they came from or what they're pictures of. Articles (news or academic) are generally what we need. --Cheeser1 15:13, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
Can you not see a flag of the Republic of Macedonia in each and every one of the images? The first image is from the BBC website (an article on the anti-Albanian riot in Skopje), the second from Encarta MSN Encyclopedoa and the 3rd is a scan from a newspaper. There you have it, images from news and academics containing the flag of Macedonia, pretty much all the proof you need.
These aren't sources about this gesture or its use, and even if they were, you didn't give us a BBC article or an Encarta article (although we tend not to use other encyclopedias as sources). You gave us photobucket. That's not a source. --Cheeser1 09:29, 10 October 2007 (UTC)
It seems this picture represents an advertisement of a Macedonian beer brand (see the logo in the upper right corner, it derives from "Скопско пиво" in Macedonian, see article Heineken brands, section about Skopsko pivo), therefore the A-ok sign could be interpreted in quite different direction. The argument appears irrelevant. - Vulgarian 13:27, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Shorty Powers[edit]

Om page 139 of "Flight, My Life in Mission Control", Chris Kraft asserts that Mercury Public Affairs Officer (PAO) Shorty Powers of NASA invented A-OK in describing how the flight of Alan Shepard's Freedom 7 was progressing. That space flight was the first to put an American astronaut in space. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:20, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Greg Goebel also mentions this here, although he doesn't go so far as to attribute Shorty with inventing the phrase. The quote is (with reference to the successful completion of Shepard's Freedom 7 flight) "FREEDOM 7 reached the top of its arc and reentered the atmosphere, inflicting twelve gees on its passenger. The capsule deployed its parachute and splashed down into the Atlantic, 490 kilometers (304 miles) downrange from the launch site. Shepard was plucked out of the ocean by a Marine Corps helicopter, and FREEDOM 7 was recovered as well. Shorty Powers announced to the public that everything had been "A-OK". Shepard himself had never actually used that particular phrase, but it would become, somewhat to his annoyance, a buzzword of the early years of the space race." Presumably it's military jargon. -Ashley Pomeroy (talk) 13:46, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
And according to Wordorigins, which at least seems plausible, "the variant A-OK first appeared during NASA’s Mercury program of the 1960s. It may be a combination of A-One with OK. Tom Wolfe in The Right Stuff, however, claims that it was originally used by Shorty Powers, the "Voice of Mercury Control," in radio transmissions because the A sound cut through static better than the O." I'm sure that it wouldn't be too hard to reorder some of Wordorigin's words - just enough so that they aren't obvious copied - and voila! you've got an "etymology" section. -Ashley Pomeroy (talk) 13:56, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

underwater diving[edit]

in contrast to ... er ... above-water diving? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:33, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

In contrast to ... skydiving, perhaps? :p —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:44, 13 September 2009 (UTC)


I don't have any sources right now, but I have heard in multiple places that some people have used this as a "satanic" signal representing the number of the beast, 666. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:05, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

There is absolutely zero evidence for this or any related interpretation. The only sources that exist for this interpretation come from conspiracy websites and from certain evangelical blogs that talk about their interpretations of fatalistic prophecy and each of them in turn reference each other rather than reliable third parties or respected researchers. The evidence for these interpretations however (666, mark of the beast, illuminati, freemason, all-seeing eye, etc...) is completely lacking and highly dubious. To make matters worse, those who believe these unproven theories often become defensive when you tell them it is an invention and unproven and will then accuse you of being part of the larger conspiracy. The fact is these fanciful interpretations should not be mentioned at all (unless it became widespread and notable) because anyone can make a claim on a webpage but that doesn't make it valid. The web is filled with rumors masquerading as fact, some more popular than others, but most not notable enough to mention on Wikipedia. StickyWikis (talk) 20:02, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

"Don't look at my hole"?[edit]

Is it merited to mention that in some places among 10-25 year olds (approx), if you make this gesture at a height below your waist and someone looks at the hole, you're "allowed" to punch them on the shoulder?

Also, the game. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:59, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

See WP:Reliable sources for guidance.
Also, (The Game) which one? (if the mind game, then meh). -- Quiddity (talk) 21:10, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

American Sign Language[edit]

The article currently reads as follows (with no source cited):

In American Sign Language, it is the letter F, or the number 9, and when made with the thumb and forefinger parallel to the ground, means asshole.

I know only a bit of ASL, but I think the hand position is different for OK and ASSHOLE, and the hand shape for F in the manual alphabet is different (though similar). Position/orientation as well as hand shape are phonemic in ASL. In any case, a reliable source would be needed. Cnilep (talk) 04:45, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Profanity in American Sign Language doesn't currently help (it says much the same thing, but without references), but that might be a place to ask. -- Quiddity (talk) 17:57, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

INDIA; Ganesh and “0”[edit]

Since the beginning of Ganesha (or, Ganesh) representation, OK hand gesture has been one of his main attributes. His job is balance of the universe. Think old ideas of elephants balancing the Earth, heavy loads, etc. No matter what strange weather has hit, no matter who died, the circle is whole, the hole is infinite, and radiating fingers are reverberations like waves or ripples ascending from an infinitely rotating circle of energy. Worshipers are calmed by the notion that Ganesh is on watch, the universe is being looked after, everything is turning according to schedule, everything will be fine. Ganesh is the combination of a giddy little boy's body, and a worn elephants head--one tusk broken off like the most experienced of bulls (male elephants). the regeneration symbol, if you will. "Everything is" is his mantra. This is synonymous with American ideas of acceptability in the face of tension. Acquired as a battlefield gesture, it doesn't reflect clockwork, it suggests that things are manageable, "Everything's as good as is necessary in this trench". This scenario is also seen in the iconic dancing Shiva figurine. With many arms radiating out, Shiva doesn’t walk on fire, he dances on it, relishing in the tension of destruction/creation. With his hand he gestures that everything is regenerating infinitely, coming from a hole, and emanating out in spiraling waves of energy. This life/death tension is otherwise noted in archaic icons showing the elephant god riding, sitting or dancing on his impossible mouse transport/companion. The happy tension is also depicted with a downward hand holding death (Ganesha’s own broken tusk) and an upward swung trunk or hand possessing a sweet delicacy; something taken away, something given. If there are other hands presented, like reverberations or avatars, they usually hold axes and such reiterating Ganesha’s position as “remover of obstacles” Prominent front right or left hands will alternate offering the OK gesture, and sometimes this is accompanied with a swastika stained palm reinstating the wheel of perpetual change to really ‘hit the idea home’.

The Arabic acquired numerical symbol for zero cannot be overlooked as a profound concept. While often overlooked as a lesser or diminutive concept in western culture, it is always a part of thee most significant paradoxical duality in the east. In this, dark is not "versus" light-- the two are perpetually entwined; Yin and Yang, Yoni and Lingum, etc. In the case of Ganesh, a large ring might be held with the same hand motioning the OK gesture. Like often misattributed sun worshipping idolatry, the significant aspects are the empty circle and the layers of fingers or rays projecting out from it.

Much confusion in early myth is attributed to purported culturally feeble folk tales, in the way that such creationist myths are viewed as impossibly overlapping and without a resolute beginning. Who made God in Christianity? Where did the dark rivers flow from in Ra’s Egyptian beginning? How did those turtles and elephants get placed under Earth’s globe? Who churned up the universe’s stars from dusty milk to solid buttery balls of existence? Somethingness and Nothingness are equivalent in this methodology. Relating back to Ganesh, it is not that your pangs and pleasures are not momentous and significant, it is just more that they are apart of the same adventure, along which, everything will be not without difficulty, but it will be OK. The zero is at the heart of the OK gesture. Attribute it to the annals of the arse if you please, but that dark hole is just one turn away from a womb, in any physical or metaphysical direction.

Gallant Gland (talk) 03:34, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Negative connotation[edit]

In the article the sentence "In Chinese number gestures, it is the hand gesture for number three." is placed under the headline "neagative connotation". In do not see any negative with the number gesture. Should it not be neutral? -- (talk) 21:07, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Pop Culture[edit]

Used in the Prisoner series with the words "Be seeing you" as a parting gesture, and a reminder that one is always under surveillance. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:41, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

1900 depiction[edit]

1900 caricature

In this picture, Uncle Sam is doing the gesture... AnonMoos (talk) 10:33, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Reorganize Article?[edit]

Right now it's it's just random factoids. No organization. Very annoying.

First and foremost: Better name. Your naming an ancient widespread gesture "A-OK" a jargony faddish term from the 1960s? Call it either the more common English label ("OK gesture") or description (Thumb index finger ring)

"AOK" phrase history should be moved to OK-word article.

First section should be history, origin, distribution of its most common meaning in Anglosphere ("OK"). This is English-language encyclopedia so I think its ok to assume thats what most readers see it as. you should start there. you doen't even say when gesture first showed up. See Desmond Morris Gestures.

separate section for all the alternate specialized meanings in Anglosphere like ASL, unicode or scuba diving.

Separate section for worldwide meanings, grouped either by positive/negative, or by culture/region. (talk) 13:09, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Negative - "I Don't Know"[edit]

Not sure how common this is, but at least in Western Australia, making the "A-OK" over your nose doesn't mean "drunk", it's a vulgar way to indicate you have no idea what's being spoken about/going on (poking your nose through the hole = "fuck knows/nose")


The sign stems from North American tribes,when hunting in cold weather hands become stiff,the sign was made using the thumb and little finger,it was a silent way to communicate they were still able to draw a bow or grip a spear,this sign was picked up on by interaction between the natives and early trappers and became popular in everyday life and over the years lost its original meaning,run your hand under a cold tap for 10 minutes to simulate long exposure to cold weather then try to touch the two fingers together,certain military units still use the old sign today. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:47, 14 July 2014 (UTC)