Loser (hand gesture)

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Woman making the loser gesture

The loser is a hand gesture made by extending the thumb and index fingers, leaving the other fingers closed to create the letter L, interpreted as "loser", and generally given as a demeaning sign.[1] Sometimes this is accompanied by raising the hand to the giver's forehead,[1] and sometimes it is done when resting the head in one's own hands. Many have attributed the origin of the gesture to 1974 by Raymond Christian during a Michigan State hockey game. It was quickly adopted by the remainder of the stadium and virally moved throughout the nation shortly after.[citation needed] The gesture was popular in the 1990s, partly popularized by the movies Ace Ventura: Pet Detective[2] and The Sandlot, as well as the Smash Mouth song "All Star," which contains the lyric "she was looking kind of dumb with her finger and her thumb in the shape of an 'L' on her forehead."[citation needed]

Usage of an "L" handsign in specific contexts[edit]

The gesture is used in the logo of Glee to form the logo's L, and is used as a sign of affection among the fans of that show ('Gleeks').

In Montenegro it is used by the liberals and enjoys wider use since the breakup of Yugoslavia.[citation needed]

In the Philippines it was used by supporters of Corazon Aquino during her presidential candidacy against the then-President Ferdinand Marcos, the "L" gesture meaning "laban" (translated, "fight" or "contest" which could refer to fighting against Marcos). It was readopted during the presidential campaign of Benigno Aquino III, son of Corazon Aquino.

Pro-wrestler Zack Ryder uses the gesture as one half of his own "Long Island" sign ("L" gesture on his right hand means "Long" and an extended index finger on his left hand means "Island"). Wrestlers The Bella Twins also use the gesture.

See also[edit]



  • Armstrong, Nancy; Wagner, Melissa (2003). Field Guide to Gestures: How to Identify and Interpret Virtually Every Gesture Known to Man. Quirk Books. ISBN 1-931686-20-3. 


  1. ^ a b Armstrong; Wagner (2003), p. 69
  2. ^ Armstrong; Wagner (2003), p. 68