Beckoning sign

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A Beckoning sign is a type of gesture intended to beckon or call-over someone or something. It is usually translated into "come here". This form of nonverbal communication varies from culture to culture, each having a relatively unique method of indicating invitation or enticement.

Around the world[edit]

United States[edit]

In the United States, the "beckoning finger" or the "beckoning palm" are the most common gestures implying beckoning. Both are accomplished by up-turning the palm, and extending and retracting either one finger while keeping the rest clenched in a fist or by extending and retracting all of the fingers, all while keeping the palm upturned.[citation needed]


The American beckoning sign is considered an insult in Japan, signifying a dog or other animal. To beckon in Japan, the hand is placed at head-level, palm facing out, and four fingers scratch the length of the hand.[1]

North Africa[edit]

In North African and Middle Eastern countries, beckoning is signified using the entire hand performing a vertical sweeping motion towards the signer.[citation needed]


In the Philippines, beckoning someone in the American fashion is regarded rude and fit only for dogs. It may also be punishable by arrest.[2] The acceptable way to call someone is four fingers pointing down, palm facing the beckoner.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ju Brown; John Brown (2006). China, Japan, Korea: Culture and Customs. Ju Brown. pp. 55–. ISBN 978-1-4196-4893-9. 
  2. ^ Gayle Cotton (August 13, 2013). "Gestures to Avoid in Cross-Cultural Business: In Other Words, 'Keep Your Fingers to Yourself!'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved August 8, 2016.