Bras d'honneur

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A bras d'honneur (French pronunciation: ​[bʁa dɔˈnœʁ] "arm of honor") or Iberian slap (Spanish: "corte de manga") is an obscene gesture most common in France, Spain, Italy, Georgia, Portugal, and Latin America. To form the gesture, an arm is bent to make an L-shape, with the closed palm pointing upwards, while the other hand then grips the biceps of the bent arm, and the bent forearm is then raised vertically emphatically. It has the same meaning as giving the finger (known as le doigt d'honneur), though this particular usage is often connotated as relating to the phrase "Up yours". Occasionally, the middle finger of the bent arm is also raised to add emphasis.

International nomenclature[edit]

  • In Brazil, the gesture is known as a "banana" and carries the same connotation as giving someone the finger. It can also be used to denote disrespectfully ignoring what someone just said, analogous in meaning to the American expression, "I don't give a fuck." In some South American countries it is called "corte de mangas" ("sleeve-cut") with the same meaning.
  • In Spain the gesture is known as "corte de manga" and is usually accompanied by the finger.
  • In Colombia the gesture has the function of replacing the raised middle finger, meaning "jódete" or "friégate".
  • In Portugal, the gesture has the same insulting meaning as in other cultures and is called a "manguito," which shows a relationship with the similar Spanish phrase "corte de mangas". It is also the most characteristic gesture performed by the Portuguese everyman Zé Povinho.
  • In Mexico, the gesture is known as a "mentada de madre" (Insult to someone's mother) and means an insult directed towards the mother of the offended, though it can be done with a single hand.
  • 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.[1]
  • In Poland, the gesture is known as gest Kozakiewicza ("Kozakiewicz's gesture") after Władysław Kozakiewicz, who famously displayed this gesture after winning the gold medal in the pole vault at the 1980 Summer Olympics in front of a hostile crowd in Moscow.[2] This coincided with the rise of the Solidarity Union in Poland in 1980.
  • In Croatia, the gesture is known as bosanski grb ("The Bosnian Coat-of-Arms") after the territorial coat of arms of Bosnia during the Austro-Hungarian reign, that is somewhat similar to the actual gesture.
  • In Bulgaria the bent hand is sometimes used to form a facepalm when performing this gesture, expressing strong disappointment, or mocking a failure.
  • In the United States, the gesture is sometimes known as "The Arm", due to the way it is performed. It is also known as "the Italian salute."

In Popular Culture[edit]

  • In the musical West Side Story, performances of the song "Gee, Officer Krupke" end with the entire Jets gang giving the audience the bras d'honneur while singing the final line.
  • In the movie Spaceballs, the Spaceballs' salute involves giving the bras d'honneur and then opening the fist to wave at the salutee.


External links[edit]