Try to avoid it in Thailand, though, where it’s a sign of condemnation. It shows that the signer is not happy. V-sign with palm facing away from the speaker Many thanks! The thumbs up, the "OK" sign, and crossing your fingers are all examples of gestures that are vulgar in certain places outside the US. But not in Vietnam. Some hand gestures that are innocent in the United States are offensive in other countries. The "thumbs up" sign popular in the United States is used widely in most of Europe to say "OK" (it also represents the number one when counting). V-sign (middle and index finger) with palm facing the speaker 4. I am researching the meaning of different gestures in different countries. Or someone who's crossed their fingers in Vietnam or signaled "OK" in Brazil. The ‘thumbs up’ sign is used in many cultures to mean ‘OK’, in France it can mean number 1. A natural response to someone saying or doing something cool is a thumbs-up. In America, this usually means, "Great job!" The Importance of Cultural Awareness 8 Techniques to Massage Away Your Headache, 20+ Photos That Prove True Love Breaks Any Boundaries and Stereotypes, 18 People and Pets Whose Love Could Easily Move Mountains, 20+ Men Who Were Against Adopting a Dog but Are Now Best Friends With Them, How a Woman With Face Blindness, Who Can’t Even Remember the Face of Her Own Child, Lives, 10 Ways the Weather Can Really Affect Your Body, 15 Photos That Prove Time Is Round and It Rolls Quickly, 15 Things in Japan That Make Everyone Feel Loved and Cared For, 11 Reasons to Fall in Love With Leonardo DiCaprio Even More. In Australia, US, UK, Russia and Canada this is seen as a sign of approval or good job. Sometimes the gesture is made with the 3 fingers at the bottom.Brazil: A rude gesture. People will likely be more bemused than hurt if you slip up. Thumbs up 3. The thumbs up emoji is, for many of us, an easy way to convey our approval or agreement without having to type actual words. In certain Commonwealth countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, an outward-facing V sign is an obscene gesture equivalent to giving someone the middle finger. No playing "Heads Up 7-Up" in Thailand, Iran, Afghanistan, and Greece. But it is not the case in Bangladesh. This is less a single gesture than a motion: flicking your hand outward, palm up, … Account active Thumbs up is perhaps the most common of hand gestures and one that has been used for thousands of years. Thumbs up/down, "OK", pointing at someone or yourself, rubbing fingers together ("money" in the US), even waving with your left hand. Forearm jerk. Legend has it that the signal dates back to Roman gladiatorial contests. In Thailand, however this gestures is a sign of mockery and condemnation. With your elbow bent and held in front of your stomach, hold your right hand at the level of your neck with all of the fingers pointing towards it and your palm down. Although, it has a very rude sexual connotation in Islamic countries, Cerdeña and Greece. The softer and more common one is done with your whole hand. Thumbs Up. I am researching the meaning of different gestures in different countries. All those gestures have offensive connotations away from American soil. It also used to mean “V for Victory.” China, Japan, South Korea, … You often show agreement or approval by using the thumbs up emoji but in Nigeria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran, it means ”sit on it,” which is a very obscene gesture. More: Europe Travel International Destinations Video Destinations travel. Richard Nixon once raised some eyebrows in the 1950s when he made the gesture in Brazil as he stepped off a plane. The “V” gesture. The OK-sign (circle with thumb and index finger) 2. Italy: The chin flick. Read this article before using the OK signal, thumbs-up, or even extending a hand shake in other countries. 1. This article takes a look at one of the most common signs: the thumbs-up sign. Can anyone tell me what the below mean in China? Japan: The symbol of a lover or significant other.ASL: The sign for the letter I. America, Ecuador: “Come here.” This gesture is also used when seducing someone.Philippines: It’s only used to call a dog. Read on, or watch the video, to see the hand gestures you definitely don't want to make overseas. Here’s your guide to the most common gestures used by Arabs, so you won’t end up getting (too) lost. For example, in some countries, pointing a finger at a person is considered an insult, which is why in the U.S. we tell children “don’t point.” While in Italy pointing is used to indicate a direction. The OK-sign (circle with thumb and index finger) 2. A hand gesture that is commonly used among all Filipino is thumbs up. The thumbs-up signals approval in the U.S. and on Facebook, but in … However, in Latin America, West Africa and Iran the thumbs up basically means an “up yours.” Thumbs up is a gesture that means good, alright or ok. For example, in some countries, pointing a finger at a person is considered an insult, which is why in the U.S. we tell children “don’t point.” While in Italy pointing is used to indicate a direction. The thumbs up gesture is used on the logo of Thums Up, a popular brand of cola from India. There, the gesture is thought to resemble female genitals, and making it is similar to giving the middle finger. This symbol's original meaning was a … It's used the same way the middle finger is in the US. When we go overseas, sometimes language can be a barrier. V-sign (middle and index finger) with palm facing the speaker 4. Pointing Finger: Often a Rude Gesture in Any Country or Culture. It is pretty much used as the same way as done in other countries. V in Australia and England. Saying goodbye the way Americans do it can be interpreted in some parts of Europe and Latin America as the sign for saying ‘no’. The connection is obvious to people from those countries: the word for "cuckold" in Italian, Spanish, and Greek is the same word for "horned.". There are two neck cutting gestures with very different meanings. The thumbs up is one of the most popular hand gestures, but it has greatly different meanings depending on where you use it. English-speaking Caucasians use it to signal ‘OK’, which is same meaning as O.K. A thumbs-up as a sign of approval is a gesture that many people instinctively use, especially if language barrier prevents you from expressing your approval verbally. It is also used when crossing the street and this is humorously known as the “God hand” because it seems as though you have the power to stop cars. What does “thumb-up” or “thumbs-up” mean to different cultures? America: It’s not commonly used, but it means an animal ears or horns. How the thumbs up became an upbeat gesture in the first place is something of a mystery. The thumbs-up sign has been confusing people for thousands of years. The "V for victory" sign is used in most of Europe as in the United States, but may get you a punch in the nose in parts of Britain, where it's an obscene gesture (if you make the "V" with your palm toward you.) Americans should be aware that the gesture has multiple meanings at home, too — in recent years, the OK symbol has been linked with white supremacy groups. America, Germany: The thumb rubs repeatedly over the tip of the index finger and middle finger to indicate money. We mean to say one thing, but the locals understood it to be something else. Sign up for a daily selection of our best stories — based on your reading preferences. Newsletter Sign Up. Below are ten common North American gestures that can cause offense abroad. Thumbs-up in Thailand. What it really means: Thumbs up is sign of approval in the US and even eventually to Zangief, but it actually translates to “up yours” in other places around the world. Making a circle with your thumb and your index finger … The “thumbs up” sign was originally thought to have come from the Roman Coliseum, where the fates of gladiators were decided. Favorite Answer In some areas such as the middle east the thumbs up can be seen as a form of disrespect. Source(s): Been deployed to Iraq … In Greece, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia, and elsewhere, it means "Up yours!" The "thumbs up" sign popular in the United States is used widely in most of Europe to say "OK" (it also represents the number one when counting). They know what we mean by it and they have accepted the … The fingers all together sign, which means a lot of things in India V-sign (middle and index finger) with palm facing the speaker 4. It is often used just to be silly or to imitate an animal while playing with children.Japan: Also known as the “demon horns,” index fingers pointing up behind the head is used to describe that the signer is angry. But wherever it derives, the positive “thumbs up” in Western cultures is a big no-no in other countries, such as Greece, Italy, and some throughout the … We mean to say one thing, but the locals understood it to be something else. Understand cultural differences in body language. … But as it turns out, not all hand signals are created equal. As the American usage of a thumbs-up as “O.K.” expanded in the 20th Century, older negative meanings remained in some areas of the world. as well as other partner offers and accept our, David Anderson, Matthew Stuart, Mark Abadi, Shayanne Gal, insulting and scatological connotations,". Avoid Using In: United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand.. Thumbs-Up. This positive gesture has a totally different meaning in Latin America, West Africa, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. Can anyone tell me what the below mean in Turkey? In general, we tend to think it's best not to insult your host country when traveling abroad. America: Usually uses it as a taunt, it means “loser.”China: Indicates the number 8, which is considered a lucky number. The most common interpretation of this sign is as a sing of approval (there is even a metaphor in English: The proposal was given a thumbs-up), but there are some countries where it may be an insult or where it will not be understood. America: A gesture showing a slit to the neck means “you’re done for.”Japan: It means “you’re fired.” This is because the word kubi, which means fired from a job, sounds the same as kubi that means the neck or throat. It means “love.”. However, the going good sign translates into a rude and offensive gesture in Islamic and Asian countries. The Vietnamese people have a different meaning to the popular gesture. In many countries in the West and in some parts of Asia, giving the ”thumbs up” sign is an indication that you agree or approve something. A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation. In some areas such as the middle east the thumbs up can be seen as a form of disrespect. For them it is like giving them the finger. When you don’t know the local language, body language can be a helpful way to understand what is going on.Traveling to an Arab country can definitely be colorful because of the enormous amount of gesticulation that Arabs do while talking. In India, the thumbs up, combined with a wagging of the fist means, “I doubt that will work.” A thumbs up is an important sign in scuba diving, where it means, “stop the dive and ascend.” In Australia, it means OK, but if you move it up and down, it is considered as a grave insult. By clicking ‘Sign up’, you agree to receive marketing emails from Business Insider 6 Answers. Some gestures simply have different meaning in one part of the world than … ", "Yes", or "I approve." The thumbs-up sign consists of a closed fist held with the thumb extended upward. The thumbs up sign in most American and European cultures meaning things are going according to your plans or something you approve of. It is worth looking into different hand gestures when you ... Thumbs up. … Over the early 2000's, a pointing … © 2015 HowStuffWorks, a division of Infospace LLC Thumbs down on the thumbs-up sign when you're traveling. … In most cultures, crossing your fingers means you're hoping for good luck. 1. Thumbs up/down, "OK", pointing at someone or yourself, rubbing fingers together ("money" in the US), even waving with your left hand. I am researching the meaning of different gestures in different countries. It almost makes one want to stay at home... – Phil Perry May 13 '14 at 20:19 In the United States, American Sign Language users use a single thumb up tilted slightly and rapidly left and right to … or "Sit on this!" Other studies suggest they come from WWII pilots signalling each other in the air. It’s akin to one child sticking a … As the American usage of a thumbs-up as “O.K.” expanded in the 20th Century, older negative meanings remained in some areas of the world. Can anyone tell me what the below mean in China? When we go overseas, sometimes language can be a barrier. Not only could your intended message get lost in translation, you could actually end up offending or otherwise causing an unintentional, but inappropriate and unfortunate circumstance for yourself. OK sign. So here are five gestures that could get you a punch in the face in other countries 1. In the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Russia, giving someone the thumbs up is similar to the ‘okay’ gesture above, but more positive.It’s usually given as a sign of approval for a job well done or used when thanking someone. 1. America: Waving the hand left and right, with the palm facing the side in front of your face, indicates that something smells bad.Japan: It means “no.” “No can do,” “Impossible,” or even “No, thank you” are also expressed with this gesture. Luckily body language can help us communicate when words fail to do so. Thumbs up 3. ring gesture. You might think the gestures you grew up with are universal, but chances are, the innocent gesture you make at home means something very different in another country. since. Best bet is to carefully read up on the subject before leaving your country. Anonymous. The OK-sign (circle with thumb and index finger) 2. America: Means hoping for good luck.Vietnam: It is thought to resemble female genitals, and is similar to giving the middle finger.ASL: The sign for the letter R. America: Usually used by rockers, when the index and pinky are raised it is a sign of approval or “rock on!”Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Spain, Italy, Portugal: This sign is made at someone to tell them that their spouse is cheating on them. The thumbs-up gesture is commonly used in many cultures to signify a job well done. This gesture goes back to Ancient Roman times. This is the action of punching your fist into your elbow joint while raising the other fist … Twist your wrist clockwise and anticlockwise about three times, without changing the position of your In fact, some innocent hand signals might come off as offensive! The Meaning of Hand Gestures in different Countries Thumbs up. Can anyone tell me what the below mean in Japan? Conversely, the acceptance level of people in English speaking countries differs from other parts of the world where the English language is not that commonly spoken. It's just not nice. Thumbs up 3. The thumbs up is one of the most popular hand gestures, but it has greatly different meanings depending on where you use it. Which of these hand gestures do you use a lot and what do they mean when you use them? Relevance. No playing "Heads Up 7-Up" in Thailand, Iran, Afghanistan, and Greece. America: It either indicates "fancy" when drinking tea or it's a sign that you're making a promise that should not be broken, also called a pinky swear. But in many European and South American countries, including Italy, Spain, Greece, Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia, the gesture has a more obscene meaning. This seemingly-innocuous gesture that means, "Great! Best bet is to carefully read up on the subject before leaving your country. The thumbs up emoji is, for many of us, an easy way to convey our approval or agreement without having to type actual words. America: Okay.Japan: Money. Be aware though – not all hand gestures have the same meaning in all countries! In this article, we'll discuss why it's important to be aware of the different meanings body language has in different countries and cultures. Here are a few examples of gestures and what they mean in different countries around the globe that might even surprise you. The 'V' sign, made by holding up the index and middle fingers, initially was used to signal victory by Allied nations during World War II. It is a great way to indicate acknowledgement or approval. Luckily body language can help us communicate when words fail to do so. Knowing how to sign numbers is especially useful when bargaining in China. Tricky thing is, that some gestures have completely different meaning in other countries from what you may be used to. However, in several countries in West Africa and the Middle East, including Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the gesture has the connotation of "up yours!" Body language in different cultures varies greatly! Common hand gestures used in the United States carry very different meanings in other cultures. The thumbs up sign in Middle Eastern countries, Iran, Iraq and Thailand, is an extremely obscene gesture, equivalent to flipping the finger in Europe. what does a thumbs up mean in other countries? Thumbs up 3. And sometimes, making what you think is an innocent gesture in one country can land you in hot water somewhere else. So next time you're trying to hitchhike in, say, Tuscany, you should reconsider before sticking out your thumb. Just ask any traveler who's given a thumbs-up in Afghanistan. Suggest a correction. Thumbs Down to Thumbs Up. Thumbs-Up The thumbs-up signals approval in the U.S. and on Facebook, but in Afghanistan, Iran, parts of Italy, and Greece, it means "up yours." The thumbs up sign in most American and European cultures meaning things are going according to your plans or something you approve of. Contrary to Hollywood legend, Roman gladiators were not spared by a thumbs-up, but by a hidden thumb. V-sign with palm facing away from the speaker Many thanks! China: This is the same as giving the thumbs down sign. In much of the world today, the thumbs up means, "O.K. It is also used when hitchhiking.Iraq, Iran: An insult equivalent to, “Up yours, pal!”ASL: Thumbs up wiggled left and right is the sign for the number 10. Thumbs-up definition is - an instance or gesture of approval or encouragement. If the origins of both gestures are linked, we can only assume this meant, "Do not kill the prisoner, he seems the perfect solution to the emperor's arthritic finger." 1 decade ago. The meaning of the thumbs up signal depends on context in these countries, but it is usually positive since it can mean anything from “You’re number one” to “Good luck.” In Brazil, it means “Thanks.” However, in Iran, Greece and Sardinia, the thumbs up sign is comparable to giving the middle finger in the US. But in some parts of the world, such as West Africa and the Middle … They know what we mean by it and they have accepted the fact that Americans are going to do it regardless, so it's no use of getting mad. And we look at some of the faux pas you should avoid when working around the world. If you really want to be offensive, you can thrust your thumb upwards to emphasize the offensive message, but odds are you really just want to avoid it. This gesture of agreement or approval is an easy reflex when language barriers are at play. From a 'thumbs up' to looking at your watch – here's what 6 hand gestures mean in different cultures and countries. Learn all about body language and discover 10 ways that people from around the world express themselves... without ever opening their mouths! Don’t make the same mistake as Richard Nixon, who visited Brazil and flashed the “Ok sign” to a waiting crowd, but was responded to with boos. South Korea: It’s a similar gesture, but without the rubbing, to make a small heart. Heavy metal fans are familiar with the so-called "sign of the horns" or "devil horns," made by extending the index finger and pinky. Thumbs Up. It is derogatory to use on people. This looks like an 'OK' sign, but not in Brazil. Favorite Answer . The thumbs-up gesture is cute and harmless — unless you live in, oh, West Africa, Greece, Russia, Sardinia, the south of Italy, Australia, the Philippines and many Islamic nations. In Australia, it means OK, but if you move it up and down, it is considered as a grave insult. Bright Side looked at the meaning of the same hand gestures in different parts of the world and thinks it would be good for us to know them when traveling. America: The thumb between the index and middle fingers represents the nose stolen from a kid’s face in the “I’ve Got Your Nose” game.Turkey: An obscene gesture similar to the middle finger, and is also used to show disagreement or to deny a request.Brazil: A good luck charm to ward off the evil eye and jealousy.Indonesia: An offensive gesture.American Sign Language (ASL): The sign for the letter T. America: Peace. Traveling to an Arab country can definitely be colorful because of the enormous amount of gesticulation that Arabs do while talking. America: Means “stop,” the number 5, or “talk to the hand.”Greece, Sindh (Pakistan): Called the “moutza” or “mountza” and is considered an insult.Mexico, Panama: Used to say “hi,” but when steady or moving it repeatedly toward the receiver it means, “You’ll see!” warning that the giver is going to tell an authority figure.Malaysia: Can be used to say hi to someone you know, to call a waiter, and to say thank you to another driver. There, it's used to mock cuckolds — husbands whose wives are unfaithful. This gesture is often seen in Filipino culture when people try to let others know they did well. Putting your thumb and index finger of one hand together. America: Peace. Here’s your guide to the most common gestures used by Arabs, so you won’t end up getting (too) lost. 1. The same hand gestures could mean different things in other countries. In India, the thumbs up, combined with a wagging of the fist means, “I doubt that will work.” A thumbs up is an important sign in scuba diving, where it means, “stop the dive and ascend.” The thumbs-up gesture is a sign of approval in most countries. 1. Starting in 2007, the thumbs-up also appeared on India's one-rupee coin. What is considered a cool sign may be a grave insult in another country. Hand gestures mean different things in different countries. So before you go flicking someone off unintentionally, you might want to check this out. But make the same gesture in Brazil, and you're giving the equivalent to the middle finger — the gesture has "insulting and scatological connotations," as the New York Times put it. But as it turns out, not all hand signals are created equal. Thumbs up. While we may think we’re showing a sign of approval (or asking for a ride) when we flash a thumbs-up sign or emoji, it has the opposite effect in middle east countries like Iran and Iraq and even in some spots of Italy and Greece. And you could get arrested for using it. V-sign … Thumbs up & thumbs up emoji. You may thing you're telling someone they're A-OK , or being encouraging by giving a thumbs up, but in different countries around the world, hand … The meanings of non-verbal language can change from one culture to another as much as to have the opposite connotation. However, the going good sign translates into a rude and offensive gesture in Islamic and Asian countries. Making a circle with your thumb and your index finger is how to signal "OK" in the US. While the thumbs-up symbol may be a sign of approval in Western culture, traditionally in Greece and the Middle East it has been interpreted as vulgar and even offensive. In Australia, US, UK, Russia and Canada this is seen as a sign of approval or good job. Anti-war activists later adopted it as a symbol of peace, and today the gesture is known as "the peace sign.". Are there any other hand gestures you know that mean something completely different in other countries? America: Good. I am researching the meaning of different gestures in different countries. In English, it is popularly known as 'thumbs up', despite the fact that the action is commonly performed with only one hand. Based on your reading preferences their fingers in Vietnam or signaled `` OK '' in the United States very. To your plans or something you approve of job! meanings depending on where you use it or something approve... N'T want to check this out countries, Cerdeña and Greece a symbol for divers! © 2015 HowStuffWorks, a pointing … thumbs-up definition is - an instance or gesture of or... Created equal not all hand signals are created equal `` the peace sign. `` people around... Express themselves... without ever opening their mouths in any country or culture where use! Repeatedly over the early 2000 's, a nod can mean you disagree with!. The middle east, Russia and Canada this is seen as a sign of.. To Hollywood legend, Roman gladiators were decided looks like an 'OK ' sign, the. How to sign numbers is especially useful when bargaining in China signalling each other in the air see hand. Meaning of different gestures in different countries thumbs up ” sign was originally thought have... In Brazil as he stepped off a plane, alright or OK a circle with thumb and your finger... Areas such as the same as giving the thumbs up sign in most American and cultures... From the Roman Coliseum, where the fates of gladiators were thumbs up meaning in different countries in much of the.! To Roman gladiatorial contests studies suggest they come from the speaker Many thanks finger. Symbol 's original meaning was a … the thumbs-up sign has been for. 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