• Culture

Offensive Hand Gestures from Around the World

Call us uncultured, but one of our favorite things to do is learn all of the offensive hand gestures and dirty slang around the world. There’s something inherently funny and powerful about knowing you can offend someone with your hands. We don’t know if we have the gumption to actually travel the world and make rude gestures at everyone, but we’d like to think we’d have a good laugh before being beaten in the street. If you’re doing any overseas traveling in the next few months, you’ll definitely want to study this list of rude hand gestures of the world. It just might save your life.

The difference between offensive hand signs and funny gestures can be infinitesimal. One man’s peace sign is another man’s eff off. And we think it’s important to know about this kind of stuff. Wouldn’t you want to know if you were offending an entire town of Romanians? Or what if you’re speaking to a police officer in Vietnam and suddenly feel the need to cross your fingers for luck? Don’t you want to know why you probably shouldn’t do that? Or maybe you’re just aching to find out how to offend people from other countries. Well, this list of obscene international gestures can help with that too.

Study this list of obscene hand gestures from across the world, and make sure you don’t get yourself in trouble by making any of these rude hand signs the next time you travel abroad.

  • Chin Flick

    This gesture is mostly used in Belgium, France, Northern Italy, and Tunisia and it means "Get lost" or even simply "No" depending on just where and how you use it.

  • Idiota

    In Brazil, putting your fist to your forehead is a simple and direct way of asking "Are you an idiot?"

  • Five Fathers

    In Arabic countries and the Caribbean, this hand gesture means "You have five fathers." As in, "Your mother's a wh*re."

  • The V Sign

    Photo: War Office official photographer, Horton (Capt) / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

    Don't go around flashing the peace sign in England, where the V sign is a quick way to tell someone to f*** off.