In contrast, the V sign at a soccer match means something more like the challenge “Come over here if you think you’re hard enough”, “Ha ha ha, you’ll have to do better than that chant if you want to offend us”, or “Ha ha, you can’t get us even if you wanted to (because of the row of police between us)”. Even spitting at someone is assault, but not everyone would have you arrested. terms, irregular verbs, phrasal verbs and idioms. There's the "single-digit salute" favored by punk rockers and rebellious celebrities. It is possible for a civil claim to be brought, and/or a private prosecution. What is obscene is decided locally, by the community. In Russia, shaking hands, or doing pretty much anything else, over a threshold is considered extremely unlucky. Hold up an open right hand with fingers pointing up and your little finger towards the other person. However, in the UK the insult “wanker” generally means someone who is selfish, egotistical, boastful, showing off, etc. As with the gestures for two and the V sign above, this means it is very easy for foreign people to make the wrong gesture and so unknowingly offend someone. finger-pointing synonyms, finger-pointing pronunciation, finger-pointing translation, English dictionary definition of finger-pointing. Stick out your tongue between your teeth and lips so that the other person can see just the tip of it. It is mainly used by kids, but adults sometimes use it ironically, for example if I finally got to work before you and so got the best desk by the window. I would say that the middle finger is more direct and aggressive, and that the V sign is more taunting, defiant or cheeky. Normal signs indicate this behavior. This usually means “I/ You/ He choked”, meaning got too nervous and messed something up, e.g. teaching and reference resources. Fist shakes. This article goes through the most common rude gestures in the UK, starting with ones which are least likely to be understood by people from other countries. This can lead to some serious confusion if you are being hit on or trying to order food off a menu. 11. Copyright © 2002 - 2021 UsingEnglish.com Ltd. Screw up your face in a frown. “Right” and “left” below always mean for the person doing the gesture (not for the person viewing it). Come on over. In France, slapping the palm of your hand over your other fist is seen as an aggressive gesture that suggests you want to beat up the person it’s aimed at. Crossing your fingers. Often in criminal law, why you do something matters just as much (if not more) than what you do. Use any other finger other than your middle finger. Pull it straight along your lips, touching them all the way, until it reaches the extreme right of your mouth. He said he wasn't pointing an accusing finger at anyone in the government or the army. The W from “whatever” is made with the thumbs and index fingers of both hands, with the thumbs touching each other at an angle. day. Yet it is seen as offensive in Greece, Spain, and Brazil. Looking at someone the wrong way can be interpreted as disrespectful. We promise you that the last place you want to end up on your vacation is inside a Philippine prison. Learn telephoning phrases with over 100 pages of stimulating self-study practice in preparation for your 7. Suicide might be a better choice!”). Pointing. Pointing with index finger may be used to indicate an item or person. A serious military salute (meaning putting your hand up to your forehead and back down again like a soldier greeting an officer) is something that most British people have never done in their lives. It consists of making a V shape by holding up one hand with your middle finger and index finger held apart from each other and with the other fingers and thumb down. However, there are also more general articles on this topic on this site with the titles “80 British gestures” and “British body language”, available here: https://www.usingenglish.com/articles/80-british-gestures.html, https://www.usingenglish.com/articles/british-body-language.html. This is not a speeding offence though the request for information related to a vehicle alleged to have been speeding. In France, this gesture is known as la barbe (”the beard”) and is the hand-sign equivalent of macho grandstanding. teachers and language experts ready to answer your questions 24 hours a Standing with this posture in a bar is likely to get you into a fight. 12. Move the thumbs up and down, so that it looks like two ducks quacking. It is potentially an offence. We are skewered on the attention of another person and any others to whom the pointing is also addressed. Learning a new language can be hard work, so here are 70 practical tips for improving your English that you can do outside of school or collage. Beware of protruding fingers. See full dictionary entry for finger COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. This can be done by putting the thumb of the second hand on the little finger of the first hand to make it longer, or (more commonly) by making the same playing the trumpet gesture with your thumbs on the two sides of your head with your palms facing the other person. learning English. Hold both hands in front of you at about rib height, with the fingers of each hand pointing towards the other hand and the thumb under the fingers. from students and teaching forum topics. own real-life telephone calls. Thumbing your nose at someone (childish insult). This is about the most aggressive/ offensive gesture in English, meaning basically “f*ck you”, often as a replacement for actually hitting someone. Even if you never leave home without your trusty phrase book, communication is as much about nonverbal cues as it is about talking. … 6. If you wish to highlight something, indicate it with an open palm. This depends on various facts, including the circumstances, the intent and the nature of the statements. Therefore, you can be arrested on obscenity charges, depending on where you raise your fateful finger. Often used in terms of a person blaming something else. In Vietnam, crossing your fingers, as we would in the U.S. to wish for luck, depicts a woman’s genitalia and is considered extremely insulting if aimed at another person. Our online discussion forums are the perfect place to quickly get help It often has the connotation that the person who gave the order doesn’t really have the authority to do so or that they should have asked you more politely, like saying “Who made you the boss?” or “I’ll do it, but I’ll get you back for it later”. Pinch together the thumb and index finger of your right hand and place it at the left edge of your closed mouth. You then either twist that finger round and round in circles (as if you were drawing a small circle on the side of your head) or tap your skull a few times. So, next time you're traveling to one of these countries and you are trying to order two of something, make sure that your palm is facing outward. I’d rather kill myself than listen to any more”, etc. English language resources for English learners and teachers to help the classroom. This obviously means “What can I do?”, often aimed at the other person as in “What can I do with you? grammar, spelling and punctuation, through to language teaching, Hold your open hand in front of you with your palm up and then bend your elbow until the hand finishes up on your forehead, preferably with an audible slapping sound. All rights reserved. Articles about learning, using and teaching the English language, is, in essence, a finger-pointing provision. Offensive, insulting and aggressive gestures in the UK, 100 common mistakes with starting and ending emails, A guide to rude, offensive, insulting and taboo gestures for EFL learners, How to use body language and gestures in EFL classes, The big list of classroom language with gestures, How to teach international body language and gestures, Teaching pronunciation through body language and gestures, Using body language and gestures to teach grammar, British and American body language and gestures, Teaching English Using Games & Activities. Take the OK sign — the simple hand signal where you put your thumb and first finger together to create a circular shape. Given how insulting this is, it is obviously mainly used about people rather than directly towards those people, for example when reporting a conversation (“And then he said I needed to think about my future, blah, blah, blah” etc). The other fingers should be folded down so the other person can just see the letter W. “Whatever” means “I don’t care about what you are saying”, for example if someone has just insulted you or given an excuse for something bad that they did. Learn more. “Speak to the hand (because the face don’t want to know)” means “I have no interest in what you are saying”. authors and contributors. Put the tip of your thumb on the tip of your nose and move your four fingers up and down randomly and independently from each other, as if you are playing a trumpet. 2. Slapping your palms together as you move them up and down, like getting rid of some dust from them, can have the positive meaning of having successfully finished something. Define finger-pointing. The fig. 14. This represents zipping closed your mouth, like closing the zip on a bag etc, and can sometimes be accompanied by the very aggressive phrase “Zip it!”. For example, if someone in the crowd at a football match uses the middle finger towards supporters of the other team, it means something like “If you were here, I’d hit you” or “I’ll kill you for what you just chanted”. Keep pointing, scolding and hope the driver can see you cursing and swearing from his/her rear view mirror. She'll say that she doesn't blame anyone, but I know that, in her heart, she points the finger at me. Teachers can understandably be reluctant to get their students thinking about and making (very) rude gestures during lessons, and we hardly want them to start experimenting with offensive hand movements etc outside the class. But whether the driver sees or not, you'd have already let off some of your steam. 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