The Angry Traveler’s Guide to Obscene Gestures

Sadly, the good, old middle finger isn’t the universal way to quickly and easily tell someone to “fuck off.” As such, if you’re in a foreign land and really want to tell some jerk how much of a douche he is, then this “handy” (lol) little chart may be for you.

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18 responses to The Angry Traveler’s Guide to Obscene Gestures

  1. Well, as a french guy, I can tell you the middle-finger sign is very well understood here 😉
    As for this strange zero-shaped sign, it _may_ be used sometimes, but no to mean “f*ck off”. Actually, with both hands, one doing this ring-shape, and the forefinger of the other hand going in an out of this ring, this sign stands for sexual activities. whether “I want to f*ck you” or “I f*cked her this hard all night long” depends on the context 😉

    1. The one labelled for Britain/Australia is also used in New Zealand and is 100% correct. The U.S. one may also be used there, but it’s mainly the B/A one.

  2. The one for the philippines is wrong as well. We use the middle finger a helluva lot, and that sign is one I’ve never seen before… and I was born and raised here…

  3. I’m French and the gesture you describe is absolutely not offensive in my country. It’s simply means “it’s perfect” or “it’s great”.

  4. The one for turkey is used in america for children. Generally it accompanied by the statement “Got your nose!” Not offensive at all.

  5. As a Turk, i can say that the one for turkey is true 😉

    and Turkish people also use Brazilian and American gestures to say fuck off.

    and French labelled gesture is also offensive in Turkey.

    So if you wanna say “it’s perfect” or “it’s great”, dont use that gesture.

    Because it means ”you’re a faggot” :)

    1. True but also if u are a tourist and if u do the gesture on the picture people may also smile:) cos they know that u learned that from turks for fun…

  6. As a Greek I can verify that the gesture shown is definitely not polite, but it has no sexual connotations.
    It is commonly used to tell someone that he is an idiot but with an implied curse too.
    It is said that the spread-out fingers symbolize the rays of the sun (and light in general) and that the original meaning of the gesture was “may you lose your sight”. Today it’s used simply as a synonym of “go to hell, you damned idiot.”

  7. The turkish gesture is very common in Russia and all Russian-language countries as well, though it is not as offensive as middle-finger, and mostly means “I won’t do what you want, get away” :)

  8. I use sign lang. for “stupid” or “Idiot”- and stick out my tongue. So more powerful than the “bird” I have found.

  9. Wow. I found it pretty interesting how the majority of these resemble commonly used, perfectly innocent signs found in America. The Britain/Australian one resembles the “peace sign,” the Turkey one is like the letter “r” in American sign language, the one for Thailand is obviously the “thumbs up,” France is the “perfect” or “okay” sign, Vietnam is the letter “t” in American sign language, Italy is the “rock on” sign, and Greece resembles either waving “hello” or “goodbye,” or asking for a “high-five.” The only ones I couldn’t find any resemblance to are the ones from Brazil and the Philippines.

  10. The one for Vietnam is true. It’s known as “Vagina”, used for insulting. The middle finger sign is well understood in Vietnam as well.

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