Interesting Spanish Hand Gestures That We Didnt Know About

Hand Gestures

It is no secret that the Spanish people are often thought to be very passionate and extravagant speakers, usually accentuating their language with a variety of wild and aggressive hand gestures. It turns out there is at least some root to this stereotype as in Spain, there are actually copious amounts of hand gestures that each convey very distinct and unique meanings. Alongside common gestures that are also used in America and simple gestures that convey vague or general meanings, the Spanish also use many hand gestures that signify certain expressions and full phrases. While in many places around the world there tends to be a single unifying offensive hand gesture, such as in America where the brandishing of the middle finger is seen as an aggressive and offensive act, in Spain there are several of these types of gestures. Flicking one’s thumb against his/her teeth, wiggling one’s fingers in front of his/her nose, and grabbing one’s left arm with their right hand while making a fist with their left hand are all seen as offensive gestures in Spain.

Some more complex gestures include pulling one’s lower eyelid down in order to signify incredulity at what the person who is speaking is saying, tapping one’s left elbow with their right hand in order to signify that a person is cheap, and extending one’s index and pinky finger towards a man with the knuckles facing him in order to indicate that his wife/partner is promiscuous or having an affair. Some gestures are even more nuanced; for example, if one wanted to convey that the place they are in is crowded, in Spain they would merely press their thumb against the rest of their fingers and then proceed to rapidly open and close the circle they created. Some figurative expressions can even be translated into hand gestures, for example when a Spanish person motions their fingers downwards repeatedly, they are attempting to convey the expression “I’m down to two candles” which means that one is broke or has no money. As another example, if a Spanish person taps their cheek repeatedly it is usually to indicate that someone is “cheeky”, a figure of speech of sorts.

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