Talk:List of gestures

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I propose adding this definition to the Single Hand Gestures list:

Hang Loose[edit]

With the three mid figures folded down. Extend the Thumb & Pinky finger out, and shake vigurously, about the radial axis of the wrist. Common to Hawaii and the surfing culture.

Source: Urban Dictionary

Jcarr1024 (talk) 01:15, 23 March 2015 (UTC)jcarr1024Jcarr1024 (talk) 01:15, 23 March 2015 (UTC)


A handshake isn't a gesture? --Connel MacKenzie - wikt 10:22, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Name of gesture unknown[edit]

What is it called when the signer, with a 'V' formed with the pointer and middle finger first points at her own eyes then to an external person's eyes indicating "I get you" or "I understand"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:04, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

"Seeing eye to eye" or "we see eye to eye"

¶ I have a question which has been troublesome and this might be an appropriate place for it: A relaxed or unintentional hand position (one hand), in which the second and ring fingers are bent or curled together, the index and little finger straighter. This appears to have no particular history or meaning, and someone trained in, say, the anatomy of the hand might have a medical term for this rather normal relaxed hand position. I ask because some propagandists, such as Texe Marrs, have identified this as a sort of Satanic or Illuminati (or other sinister) hand signal, so that celebrities who are photographed with a hand in this posture are accused of being part of some evil conspiracy and using this gesture to somehow encourage other conspirators. Any information on this will be welcome. Sussmanbern (talk) 13:45, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Lead section too short[edit]

The WP:Lead section of this list is too short. The lead of a list must make the criteria for inclusion clear. It is also preferable to cite in the lead section WP:Reliable sources that define gesture. Please see WP:Stand-alone lists, section Lead and selection criteria. Cnilep (talk) 18:28, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Done. Cnilep (talk) 14:42, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Format borrowed from Types of gestures[edit]

I am in the midst of sorting this list into gestures using one hand, two hands, hands and other body parts, or other body parts. This division was first used for the article Types of gestures. Talk:Types of gestures may have further historical information. A full list of contributors can be viewed at Types of gestures using the history tab. Cnilep (talk) 14:42, 14 June 2009 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was not moved. Jafeluv (talk) 22:19, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

List of gesturesComparisation of gestures — I propose to move this page to "comparisation of gestures". This as the Types of gestures/List of gestures is the article already describing the gestures. This article would provide other content by comparing the gestures —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:30, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

I presume you mean comparison? Knepflerle (talk) 10:56, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. List of gestures is a stand-alone list, not a comparison page. It complies with guidelines and traditions for stand-alone lists. The requested move was undertaken before a discussion was conducted; I have restored the changes made since that time. See "Change of properly formed stand alone list," below. Cnilep (talk) 17:27, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
  • First things first: For those of us coming here from Wikipedia:Requested moves, be sure to note the existence of Types of gestures, which also currently has a movereq. Anyway, by my reading of Wikipedia:Lists and Wikipedia:Stand-alone lists, it seems to me that it would be most appropriate for this to be titled List of gestures.
    V = I * R (talk) 21:41, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


I tried a few times to erase the sections: Gestures made with hand and other body parts or clothing Gestures made with other parts of the body

In addition, I would like to remove part of the items in the lists to get a simplified list with regularly based gestures; eg expressing affirmation, disaffirmation, greeting, ... Most of the items here are better placed at types of gestures

The intro should be altered aswell to describe it is to become a comparisation —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12 August 2009

Change of properly formed stand alone list to dubious "comparison"[edit]

The article List of gestures was a stand-alone list; that is, a list of "link[s] to articles or lists in a particular subject area." As such, the name List of gestures complied with guidelines for list names, and the lead section "present[ed] unambiguous statements of membership criteria" as described in the lead and selection criteria guidelines. This selection criteria was also supported by a reliable third-party source.

The current Comparison of gestures does not seem to meet any established guidelines for "Compare lists" as described at Wikipedia:Lists. Furthermore, it doesn't obviously meet any need for encyclopedic content, since the International Sign comparison in every case is a question mark. Also, in all but four rows, and the meaning given is also a question mark.

(Note, by the way, that gestures, like the speech they accompany or replace, are a culture-specific form of communication. I gather that International Sign is a pidgin-like form used for cross-cultural communication. The comparison therefore seems not particularly apt.)

If anyone can justify the the current layout and name, they should do so here. For now, I am reverting the content of the page to its properly formatted stand-alone list format, and will consider changing the name back to the properly formed "List of..." name unless there are arguments and consensus to do otherwise. Cnilep (talk) 16:26, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

I read trough to the arguments about why the list of gestures needed to be kept. However, as far as I see, the most important argument -being that it would serve as the main article if "Types of gestures" was removed, is now irrelevant as the article was kept. If you are not happy with the simplification on going from 2 to 1 article, perhaps a seperate comparison article may be made. Also, some added info should be made at 1 page to differentiate it rather than be a reproduction -admittedly with some extra information per gesture-. An idea that comes to mind is categorising at "Types of gestures" on meaning, while list of gestures is alphabetically made-up.

KVDP (talk) 06:54, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Could you please specify which information you think is "a reproduction"? With a few exceptions, I don't believe that List of gestures and Types of gestures have the same content. (See Talk:Types of gestures#Duplication with List of gestures for those exceptions.) Cnilep (talk) 18:45, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Facebook is not a reliable source[edit]

This edit links to Facebook to support the suggestion that the "open-palmed point" is a gesture popularized by Sam Newman. There are two serious problems with this. First, Facebook is not a reliable source. Second, the page in question does not even claim to support this assertion. It is merely a picture of Mr. Newman gesturing with an open palm, with comments from fans. I earlier reverted essentially the same content, and do not want to start an edit war, but I fully expect this information to be removed if it is not supported by a reliable source. Cnilep (talk) 14:40, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Also, it is only an image. All the description of that image is WP:Original research extrapolation. I have re-removed it. -- Quiddity (talk) 20:42, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Similarly, a photo of the "peace sign" is not a reliable source for the description of its meaning, etc. offered here. I have therefore undone this edit. Cnilep (talk) 20:07, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

How Sad[edit]

The "How Sad" ("Smallest Violin") is mostly used to indicate "money needed [for whatever purpose]". For example, in chatting about nice clothes one might at some point simply rub thumb and forefinger (index finger) together, as rubbing two coins together. It's a fairly universal gesture... (talk) 14:16, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

I don't think so. It is generally used to tell someone they're whining way too much about something. The money needed thing is alien if at all reliable. Gingermint (talk) 00:57, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Awkward Turtle[edit]

Descriptions of a gesture called "Awkward turtle" have been added to this page several times ([1], [2], [3]). None of those additions has cited a source suggesting that the gesture is notable (or, indeed, that it exists, though I assume it does). Content on Wikipedia must be verifiable and notable. For this reason editors need to cite reliable, third-party sources when adding information. Please cite reliable sources that specifically describe a gesture when adding new information to this page. Please also note Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Awkward turtle and Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Awkward Animals. Thanks, Cnilep (talk) 18:04, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Description of the Gesture "Awkward Turtle" has been resubmitted for this page as of 06 July 2011. The two sources cited include a page from the Columbia School of Journalism which was written by a student that mentions the history of the gesture, which began to emerge some time in 2005, and explains that it has a sustained life among young people, predominantly high school and college students. The second source is the popular news magazine and online blog Gawker, which uses the term in its title. The article from that site includes an embedded youtube video showing that the gesture is exactly as described in the the Columbia School of Journalism article. In addition to these sources, I have just added a citation of a facebook group dedicated to the Awkward Turtle, which has over 400,000 followers. This is not nonsense and it is not a hoax, but in fact is a defined gesture known to many young people. As to the suggestion that it is not important enough to be included, I would ask what is in fact important enough if a major blog can write an article that focuses on the gesture and it can gain hundreds of thousands of fans on a social networking site. I want to encourage a discussion on this topic, rather than random deletion of the information and its sources. If anyone feels that this is not worthy of inclusion on this site, I would like to understand why. Thank you. emccurdy Emccurdy (talk) 22:58, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Note that "importance" is not a criteria for inclusion, but notability and verifiability are. One of the sources added by Emccurdy, the Columbia News Service article, seems like an appropriate secondary source to help establish notability. It is an article about the gesture in a student-run on-line news service from the Columbia Journalism School. The Gawker article might be OK as a primary source, but not a secondary source. It is a film review that calls a movie "awkward turtle 'funny'", but the main explanation of the term/gesture is a link to Wikipedia. It's awkward turtles all the way down, so to speak. The Facebook page is not suitable as a source. That said, although one secondary source may not be enough for an independent page, I think it is acceptable for inclusion on this list. Cnilep (talk) 01:51, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
While I definitely don't understand the gesture, or why you'd use such a complicated gesture to imply awkwardness, I admit that the sources are enough to include the gesture in this page. I guess I'm just getting old. Angryapathy (talk) 16:09, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Where the fig sign is rude[edit]

Concerning this edit reversion - okay, so perhaps it makes no sense to just focus on one country. But it seems the worst of all possible solutions to remove information about where the symbol is used entirely. So why don't we include a full list of countries in which this symbol is considered rude? In many countries (i.e. U.S.A., Canada), the meaning of this symbol (positive or negative) is unknown except among a few immigrants. Esn (talk) 22:22, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Ok, I've added Indonesia, Turkey, Russia and China. The source for "China" isn't that great, but I don't know where to find a better one. Esn (talk) 22:48, 9 July 2010 (UTC)

Trip Atlas is a Wikipedia mirror. It is therefore not a reliable source, per WP:Self-published sources. I'm also concerned that the recent edits make it appear as though Field Guide to Gestures lists Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, and China as locations where the fig sign is rude. It includes none of these, but lists France, Greece, and Turkey as places it is an insult, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, and Germany as places where it has a sexual meaning, and notes that it is a good luck symbol in Portugal and Brazil. The choices seem to be vagueness, which is admittedly unfortunate, or unsourced original research, which is actually against Wikipedia policy and is arguably just as big a disservice to readers. Cnilep (talk) 00:13, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Finger to Nose[edit]

One gesture missing from the list is finger-to-nose. It means keeping a secret, or that you and I know something that others don't – the same as saying "Mum's the word". I do not know its origin (or where to cite its origin). I have seen this gesture used in a couple of movies, as well as several episodes of Doctor Who. DAK4Blizzard (talk) 06:23, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

make that finger to side of nose - to differentiate it from cocking a snoop —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:40, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

Gig 'em... Really?[edit]

Is there any notability of the "gig 'em" hand gesture? It is just a thumbs up with a verbal component added and is limited to a single university. Should we include the "Gator Chomp" of the UF Gators, or the "Wolf Pack" of Nevada, and possibly tens or hundreds of other hand symbols associated with individual college teams simply because they are traditional? I know that the Hatchet hand motion of the Atlanta Braves, FSU, and other teams are listed as well, but we should remove hand symbols that are associated with specific micro-cultures and attempt to stick with ones that are culture wide (i.e. thumbs up vs the identical gig 'em gesture). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:49, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

I agree--there's no reason to include "Gig 'em" in this list. It doesn't fit. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:07, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

More Illustrations[edit]

In an article about gesture, there has to be a lot more illustration. This is not to say that in many parts, the descriptions are well written. Gingermint (talk) 00:59, 8 August 2010 (UTC)


A commonly used gesture in the Middle East but with all four fingers held up tightly together instead of just the fore and middle fingers. I have seen it used many, many times not only by Arabs but also by Asians during my 25 years in the UAE. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:36, 24 October 2010 (UTC) A better expression, at least for the four fingers and thumb gesture, might be 'compassion' since the same gesture is often used as a plea for alms (i.e. begging). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:43, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Heart gesture[edit]

What about the heart gesture with bth hands? Example George Rodney Maruri Game (talk) 02:21, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

I was wondering that also; we have commons:Category:Heart hand gesture... AnonMoos (talk) 00:38, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

The Forefinger Rub[edit]

I added an explanation for The Forefinger Rub, a "shame on you" gesture, as I was looking for information about it myself and didn't find any on this page. My only source was a Google Answers thread [4], if someone can find a more authoritative source please replace the reference. I've seen this used mostly in American animated TV series (The Simpsons, Family Guy etc.). —Jopo (talk) 18:16, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

knuckling of forehead[edit]

I don't believe this. I tried to look up knuckling,(not found in this article) a form of respect i had read was used towards gentry in england long ago, and i got someting crude about sexual fingering.-Richard Peterson24.7.28.186 (talk) 21:09, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

The stereotyped old gesture of respect was tugging the forelock... AnonMoos (talk) 00:41, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Sign of the Aquila[edit]

I added the gesture to the page. Can anyone proof read it for me real fast? I'm kinda tired and my brain is not awake enough to catch my fine mistakes. User:Flynn M Taggart (User talk:Flynn M Taggart) 9:46, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

I've removed the addition, since the gesture is not mentioned on Warhammer 40,000 (nor is "Aquila", for that matter) and there was no indication of where to look for reliable sources. As always, the prose can be retrieved from the page history. Could you find a source and re-add the gesture? Cnilep (talk) 07:17, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
This page of the Lexicanium has the gesture, I'm sorry if I am seeming a bit vague as I haven't added anything in a long time. (User talk:Flynn M Taggart) 7:46, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Gesture: form and meaning[edit]

A gesture is, as this article plus the reliable sources it is based on explain, a movement of hands or other body parts that has a particular meaning to some group of people. Therefore, different meanings attributed to a single hand shape or movement are not the same gesture. Similarly, Sign languages are not gestures in this sense; they are specific hand shapes and movements that convey linguistic meaning.

I am removing various "this shape also means..." claims and various "this resembles the ASL sign..." claims from the article. Please do not add such claims, especially not based on your own experience and knowledge (as opposed to WP:Reliable sources). Cnilep (talk) 01:30, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

throat slash gesture[edit]

I grew up on a farm, so maybe I'm just a rube, but we always used it to mean kill the engine, or shut off the piece of machinery we happened to be running at the time ... I have seen this used on construction sites too — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:35, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Proposed for deletion[edit]

This article was proposed for deletion on 7 June 2012. See: --JBrown23 (talk) 01:23, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

At the London 2012 Olympics, after 10,000 meter men's final. What does this gesture mean?[edit]

Mohamed Farah, after winning the 10,000 meter race, put both hands over his head, fingers pointing downwards, wrists up, elbows out. He did this several times.

What does this gesture mean? Where is it used? Should it be listed in the article?

He lives in England, came from Mogadishu (SOM).

I assume it celebrates by representing the first letter of his name.HuPi (talk) 21:16, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Martial arts greeting[edit]

Re: this, Here's some potential refs, which name it as "Bao Quan Li" ("Fist wrapping rite"), aka palmfist or palm-to-fist-salute.[5], [6], [7]. There are probably better sources easily avail, but I'm falling asleep -_- -- Quiddity (talk) 08:11, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

What about "Shhh!" or "Quiet"?[edit]

You know, the one where you hold one finger up to your lips, sometimes saying "Shhh!"? Why isn't there anything about that gesture on Wikipedia? Not even a mention! dogman15 (talk) 21:31, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

It is on the list, called "shush gesture". Cnilep (talk) 23:43, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
Oh, whoops. Sorry, and thank you. dogman15 (talk) 00:17, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

"You didn't see" eye tap gesture[edit]

Pointing to the eye with an extended index finger. A knowing gesture that communicates that what has been seen is intended to be, or relates to, a mutual secret. I don't see this on the list but it seems fairly generic/cross cultural. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:05, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Sign of the horns[edit]

It is big enough to have a page on its own, but it is not mentioned as a one hand sign: Sign of the horns. My English isn't good enough to include it in the right place of the page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:42, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Look again; it is there. Cnilep (talk) 04:42, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Name of gesture unknown[edit]

What is it called when a person presses index finger against thumb, and and puts their other index finger into the circle that they created, representing "sex?" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:02, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

S.W.A.T. hand signals[edit]

For your consideration. --WikiTryHardDieHard (talk) 19:06, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Is there an official name for an "upward nod?"[edit]

What would it be called when someone tilts their head up slightly in order to greet someone or gain their attention? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:39, 27 February 2014 (UTC)


An editor at IP left the following comment regarding the OK gesture: "not entirely accurate. If the gesture is made with the fingers pointing up, it has the same A-OK meaning. If the fingers are pointing down, then it has an obscene meaning". I replaced the comment with a maintenance tag. Cnilep (talk) 07:11, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Don't know if this is the right place to write this, but as an Argentine myself, I use that gesture a lot and no one has ever complained about it here. LlegóelBigotee (talk) 01:20, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Apparently in Albania it means "I banged your mother." I heard this during a talk on Italian hand gestures though and don't have a source, sadly. I've also read that in some parts of the Arab world it means you're calling the target homosexual, and I think that might be in a reputable travel guide which I'll have to find. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 13 Shevat 5775 17:37, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Unknown name of gesture for potential addition[edit]

Used as if to indicate something the gesturer is imagining, as part of speech. It may be preformed with one or both hands. One simply traces their open palm in front of them, as if to run their hand across a flat surface, often in the shape of a rainbow like curve. With two hands, the open palms start side by side, aligned in front of the individuals relative center, and trace outwards away from each other. The gesture is sometimes accompanied by an upward gaze, subtly giving cue to the implication of something being imagined. (talk) 19:50, 5 October 2014 (UTC)


There's not article I can find on hands up, hands out, prostration and supplication gestures for surrender nor are they mentioned here.

External images
Supplication and surrender gestures
Cassandra extends her hand in surrender to Ajax.[8] (p 52 it discusses hands out surrender)
Late 1960's Justice Minister John Turner of Canada demonstrates surrender in conversation with Ontario John Robarts while Prime Minster Pierre Trudeau whispers with Carl Goldenberg
Cat surrendering meme
German soldier surrenders to a Russian soldier in 1942
Japanese soldiers(?) surrendering in WWII?
Iraqi soldiers with hands on head surrender position.
Ferguson protester demonstrating full supplication and hands up surrender position
Toy soldiers demonstrating the surrender position while carrying their weapons to captors.
Michael Ironside with "ten fingers to the sky" in some 1970's movie.
Hands extended, prostration and surrender of the sword.
Surrendering a commission entails a palms up offering of the hand with some object. 18th century
Official surrender in 17th century entailed a supplicant extending hand, bowing and offering an object.
Nelson receiving the extended arm with palm up surrender of the unnamed officer of the 'San Nicolas'
Lee offering extended arm with palm up surrender to Grant
Germans soldiers hands on head surrendering gesture in St Lambert'
Germans hands up surrender gesture. Life magazine.
World War I hands up surrender of Russians troops with commander waving a white flag.
Artist rendering of 1915 Russian soldiers surrendering with elbows bent and straight up, hands up, palms forward surrender.
Need a historians explanation for the gestures demonstrated in the Demand for the Surrender of New Orleans.
Antoin Jean Grois Capitulation to Napoleon head bowed hands out supplication.

I'd like to know the history of the current hands up gesture. It was already in use in 1914 as the WWI soldiers surrendered.

Are the early gestures of surrender related to the Primate supplicant gesture?

Maybe a book of this sort has some more answers? [9]

With all the attention surrender gesture is getting in the last few months you'd think that the gesture would mentioned here and have it's own article. (talk) 13:10, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Add Hands up, don't shoot[edit]

As this would likely be a contentious addition, I figured I'd bring it up here first and see if consensus can be formed either way. Thoughts? – JBarta (talk) 23:52, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

I guess I was wrong. Added. – JBarta (talk) 05:11, 19 December 2014 (UTC)