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Are these hand gestures offensive?
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21 / M / The Land of the Free
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Posted 6/3/13
I was reading this web article called "Top 7 Common American Hand Gestures That Are Offensive Abroad."

According to the article if you use the V sign in Great Britain, Australia, Ireland, or New Zealand, you're basically dropping the F-bomb.

The article also says that you can get arrested in the Philippines for curling your pointer finger forward and motioning repeatedly if you're trying to tell a person to "come here". There, the gesture is only used with dogs.

You can read about the rest of the gestures here.

Are these hand gestures really offensive? Is the stuff in the article really true?
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Posted 6/3/13
In korea, if you curl your fingers upward to tell someone to come over, it is equivalent to addressing a dog, so yes it is true.

I'm not too sure about the V sign thing, I'm pretty sure people in Britain watch anime......
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22 / M / SoCal
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Posted 6/3/13
I knew that a thumbs up in Egypt was not a welcomed gesture but not the rest of these. I wonder what a middle finger gesture means in different parts of the world.
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27 / F / Southern Oregon
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Posted 6/3/13
Yes it's true different countries have different cultures. Did you think they just made it up for fun?

As for the V sign it depends on what way you palm is facing:


the palm of the hand faces the signer (i.e., the back of the hand faces the observer), the sign is an insult. This usage is restricted largely to Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United Kingdom


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21 / M / Australia
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Posted 6/3/13 , edited 6/3/13
The V hand gesture is rarely used in Australia. But when it is used it mean 'up ya'. So yeah it's still kinda flipping the bird. That's with your palm facing yourself. It means peace if your palm is facing them.
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29 / F
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Posted 6/3/13
V Gesture is fine in Europe!
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25 / M / Australia
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Posted 6/3/13
If the back of your hand is facing the person when doing a V, then it is an insult that is worse then the bird.
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21 / M / Australia
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Posted 6/3/13

rikku456 wrote:

If the back of your hand is facing the person when doing a V, then it is an insult that is worse then the bird.


If you do it to a baby boomer gen, then probably. But now in today's society, not so much.
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25 / F / Georgia
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Posted 6/3/13
They shouldn't be offensive. They're just hand gestures for goodness sake.
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25 / M / Sydney, Australia
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Posted 6/3/13

Giantsgiants wrote:

I was reading this web article called "Top 7 Common American Hand Gestures That Are Offensive Abroad."

According to the article if you use the V sign in Great Britain, Australia, Ireland, or New Zealand, you're basically dropping the F-bomb.

Are these hand gestures really offensive? Is the stuff in the article really true?


It isn't true, because I lived in Australia for 15 years and never heard of a case where people get offended by a "V" sign.
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F / Earth
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Posted 6/3/13

Flyingwren wrote:

The V hand gesture is rarely used in Australia. But when it is used it mean 'up ya'. So yeah it's still kinda flipping the bird. That's with your palm facing yourself. It means peace if your palm is facing them.


Yes, just like flipping the bird is supposed to resemble the male private part, the "V" in Europe symbolizes a female's open legs up in the air.
I wonder how that came about, America using a male gesture and Europe a female one..... anybody?
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F / Earth
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Posted 6/3/13

mystic17 wrote:

They shouldn't be offensive. They're just hand gestures for goodness sake.


True, also they're so many different types of sign languages....I notice some of those hand signs are used in them....meaning something else.
Posted 6/3/13
I've heard of the thumb sign being ofensive in south america, but it's not in Russia. I've hitchiked in Russia and people surely understand that it's meant for hitching rides.
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27 / M / A rock in the mid...
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Posted 6/3/13 , edited 6/3/13

PhyongHwa wrote:


Flyingwren wrote:

The V hand gesture is rarely used in Australia. But when it is used it mean 'up ya'. So yeah it's still kinda flipping the bird. That's with your palm facing yourself. It means peace if your palm is facing them.


Yes, just like flipping the bird is supposed to resemble the male private part, the "V" in Europe symbolizes a female's open legs up in the air.
I wonder how that came about, America using a male gesture and Europe a female one..... anybody?



The "V" sign for victory was popularized as a hand sign by Winston Churchill during and after the Second World War. Americans adopted that meaning and it eventually morphed into also meaning peace, probably during the 60's or 70's, hippies, counterculture etc.
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19 / on the chair
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Posted 6/3/13 , edited 6/3/13

PhyongHwa wrote:


Flyingwren wrote:

The V hand gesture is rarely used in Australia. But when it is used it mean 'up ya'. So yeah it's still kinda flipping the bird. That's with your palm facing yourself. It means peace if your palm is facing them.


Yes, just like flipping the bird is supposed to resemble the male private part, the "V" in Europe symbolizes a female's open legs up in the air.
I wonder how that came about, America using a male gesture and Europe a female one..... anybody?


Er... about that, the backwards peace/ v sign means "Up Yours" so yeah it is offensive. It does not, however, symbolise a female's open legs up in the air lol. (That was a joke right? )

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