Kinesthetic – Hand gesture insult

Hand gesture insult

My informant and her friends use the V-sign (index and middle finger upward while other fingers are in a fist with the palm facing inward) as an insult. She compared the insult to that of the middle finger or flipping someone off in America. My informant said that she and her friends mostly use the gesture jokingly but it can also be used a more serious insult. She shared that the sign is often used in English pop culture like television and movies.

She also shared the widely known legend behind the “two finger salute”. The gesture was supposedly first used during the Hundred Years war when the English were fighting the French. The French threatened that they would cut off the arrow-shooting fingers of the bowmen. When the English won the battle against the French within the world the bowmen all showed off their intact index and middle fingers to the French. The gesture serves as an insult and the story provides some patriotism and pride in one’s country.

Almost every country has at least one its own unique hand gesture insult. Even if a legend is not told to trace its origin, gestures provide a sense of nationalism and unity even in a possible situation of anger or spite.