Newstalk
Newstalk

16.22 4 Jul 2013


Share this article


Some people are more expressive with their hands than others when they are speaking. But this can also be applied to nations.

In Ireland, a thumbs up, thumbs down and an aggressive middle finger are the most common forms of speaking with your lámh amháin or beirt lámh.

But in Italy it's a different story where there are at least 250 hand signals which are understood by vast swathes of the population.

A wee swish of palm or the curl of a finger can range from the benign to the malicious and unless you can decipher it, you'll either be bewildered or just none the wiser.

This New York Times video traces the history and development of Italian hand signals and below you can teach yourself some basics of parlare con la mano...

 

Oftentimes you will see Italian footballers lifting one or both hands up and pressing the fingers together as below when a refereeing decision goes against them. This is one of the most common hand gestures in Italy and can mean "Why are you doing that?!, "What the hell?"

 

Below Mario Balotelli portrays the one handed version after yet another brush with the law.

 

Silvio Berlusconi has had a tough time of it recently what with his seven year sentence for "bunga bunga" related escapades.

Unsurprisingly the hand gesture he uses in the photo below is not entirely benign. Known as the cornuto it can be used as a superstitious symbol to ward off bad luck or as an offensive gesture which can imply that the target of the gesture is a cuckold whose wife is cheating on him.

Fortunately for the man in front, the gesture does not seem to be aimed at him.

 

And here are a few more for you to practice...

Drawings by Alfredo Cassano


Share this article


Read more about

News

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

The Hard Shoulder

The Hard Shoulder

16:00-19:00

Share

Up next

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on