8 rude gestures from around the world

By 12.23.13
‹ Prev
Next ›
Use your ← → keys to navigate


Thumbs up image by Shutterstock

Let’s get this rude, mean and obscene look at gestures from around the world started with a time-honored quote: “F*ck you, f*ck you, you’re cool, and f*ck you.” – Scarface, Half Baked 1998. To learn how to say “f*ck you” without actually saying it in many countries around the globe, read on. Got any other rude gestures to share? Let us know in the comments.


Left handshake image by Shutterstock

Where is it found? Many Muslim countries.

What does it mean? The right hand is used for eating and shaking hands, while the left is used for cleaning yourself. Since toilet paper can be scarce in developing parts of the world, “cleaning yourself” with the left hand includes wiping your ass after using the toilet. So using your left hand to eat or hand something to someone or shake their hand is considered a rude and insulting gesture. Yep, wiping your ass with your bare hand is business as usual, but using a perfectly clean left hand for pretty much anything is not cool.

Where is it found? Italy, France, Belgium, Tunisia and American mafia movies.

What does it mean? The chin flick is typically used at the end of an argument and means "get lost" or "get out of here and don’t come back."


Idiota image by Shutterstock

Where is it found? Brazil and sometimes England, Wales and Scotland.

What does it mean? With "Idiota" – a simple fist to the forehead that references a mentally handicapped person aiming an ice cream cone at their mouth and accidentally planting it slightly above – the gesturer asks the gesturee, "Are you a frikin’ idiot?"


Thumbs Up image by Shutterstock

Where is it found? Iran.

What does it mean? A thumbs up roughly translates to what the middle finger means in the United States: "up yours."

Where is it found? In many Muslim countries.

What does it mean? It means that you have five fathers and one mother, or that “your mother is a whore, Trebek.” And that you’re probably a bastard too. Ouch.


OK sign image by Shutterstock

Where is it found? Brazil.

What does it mean? The "OK" gesture is the middle finger of choice for Brazilians. So if the waiter asks how your food is, make sure to give him the thumbs up, not the A-OK. Unless he’s from Iran, of course.

Where is it found? This originated on the Iberian Peninsula and is found in countries where Spanish, French or Portuguese are spoken.

What does it mean? Also referred to as the "Iberian finger" or "Iberian slap" (which I believe is also the name of a fatally dangerous sex move), this is yet another version of the middle finger, meaning “up yours.”


Middle Finger image by Shutterstock

Where is it found? The U.S.

What does it mean? The almighty middle finger dates all the way back to Ancient Greece as a symbol of anal intercourse. The middle finger is meant to symbolize a phallus that is ready to plunder, degrade and intimidate. It’s the primary obscene gesture in the United States and doesn’t have the delicate connotations of brutal ass sex that the Ancient Greeks were conveying. Instead it’s a nice & simple "fuck you, fuck off, or go fuck yourself."

Continue ›
View Single Page
TAGSArbitrary RankingsfeaturedListsMiddle Finger

Join The Discussion

Comments are closed.