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Bras d'honneur

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Bras d'honneur

A bras d'honneur[a] (lit.'arm of honour'), Iberian slap,[b] forearm jerk, Italian salute,[1][c] or Kozakiewicz's gesture,[d] is an obscene gesture that communicates moderate to extreme contempt, and is roughly equivalent in meaning to "fuck you" or "up yours", having the same meaning as giving the finger. To make the gesture, an arm is bent in an L-shape, with the fist pointing upwards; the other hand then grips or slaps the biceps of the bent arm as it is emphatically raised to a vertical position.

It is most common in the Romance-speaking world (Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Romania, Belgium, Latin America, and Québec), Russia, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, Turkey, Georgia, Ireland, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria and in parts of Scotland and Ethiopia.

Use and names by country[edit]

  • In Italy, the gesture is often referred to as gesto dell'ombrello, meaning literally 'umbrella gesture'. Its most famous occurrence in Italian cinema is in Federico Fellini's I vitelloni (1953), where the idler played by Alberto Sordi jeers at a group of workmen, combining this gesture with a raspberry.[2]
  • In Brazil, the gesture is known as a "banana" and carries the same connotation as giving someone the middle finger. It can also be used to denote disrespectfully ignoring what someone just said, analogous in meaning to the expression, "I don't give a fuck".[3]
  • In Japan, the gesture has a positive connotation, often used to convey courage or determination[4] in a similar manner to a fist pump. To perform the gesture, a hand is placed on the opposite biceps, and then the biceps is flexed, as if the flexed biceps were being polished. Sometimes, the gesture appears in video games produced in the country; as a result, it often has to be removed during the process of game localisation to avoid causing offence.[5]
  • Portugal has the term manguito, a diminutive of manga 'sleeve'. It is also the most characteristic gesture performed by the Portuguese everyman Zé Povinho.[3]
  • In Poland, the gesture is known as wał or gest Kozakiewicza ('Kozakiewicz's gesture') after Władysław Kozakiewicz, who famously displayed this gesture after breaking the world record and winning the gold medal in the pole vault at the 1980 Summer Olympics in front of a hostile crowd in Moscow.[6] (In Russia, this gesture is widely understood as a manlier, more "native", and more publicly acceptable version of the foreign "middle finger" gesture, but both of them are rarely used compared to the fig sign and verbal insults.) This coincided with the rise of the Solidarity Union in Poland in 1980.
Coat of arms of the Austro-Hungarian condominium of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1878–1918)
  • In Tunisia, it is called faggousa and it is done the same way.


  1. ^ French pronunciation: [bʁa dɔnœʁ].
  2. ^ Spanish: corte de manga, lit.'sleeve cut'; Portuguese: manguito; Catalan: botifarra, lit.'sausage'.
  3. ^ Italian: gesto dell'ombrello, lit.'umbrella gesture'.
  4. ^ Polish: gest Kozakiewicza or wał.


  1. ^ Hughes, Geoffrey (2015). "Italian salute" An Encyclopedia of Swearing: The Social History of Oaths, Profanity, Foul Language, and Ethnic Slurs in the English-speaking World. Routledge. p. 259
  2. ^ "Fellini – I vitelloni". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21.
  3. ^ a b História de nossos gestos
  4. ^ "Common Japanese Gestures". NILS Fukuoka Times. Retrieved 2020-06-18.
  5. ^ "Why This Gesture Keeps Being Removed From Games". Censored Gaming, YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21.
  6. ^ "gest Kozakiewicza Moskwa 1980". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21.
  7. ^ "Vreme", 4. maj 1938. digitalna.nb.rs (Serbian)

External links[edit]