Wave (gesture)

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A wave is a movement of the hand that people use to greet each other, say goodbye or merely acknowledge another's presence. People wave by raising their hand and moving it from side to side. Another common wave is to raise one's hand and repeatedly move the fingers downward toward the palm. The gesture can be used to attract attention at a distance. Most commonly, though, the gesture means quite simply "hello" or "goodbye .[1][2]

The royal wave, also known as a regal wave, pageant wave, parade wave, or Miss America wave, is a similar but distinct kind of hand waving gesture in which a person executes something alternatively described as either a 'plastic grin' with 'fingers cupped' and 'forearm swaying side-to-side' or a "vertical hand with a slight twist from the wrist". The gesture is often performed, to various degrees, by different members of the British royal family, signaling anything from regality, class and control to elegance, restraint and character.[3][4]


  1. ^ Armstrong, Nancy; Wagner, Melissa (2003). Field Guide to Gestures: How to Identify and Interpret Virtually Every Gesture Known to Man. Philadelphia: Quirk Books. ISBN 1931686203. 
  2. ^ Cooke, Jean (1959). "A few gestures encountered in a virtually gestureless society". Western Folklore 18 (3): 233–237. doi:10.2307/1497708. 
  3. ^ Henninger, Danya (2013-09-06). "Wave Like Miss America, Get Freebies at Continental". Zagat. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  4. ^ Kindelan, Katie (2012-06-05). "Royal Wave: How Do the Royals Do It?". ABC News. Retrieved 2013-12-13.