Around the World in Hand Gestures: A Video Guide

From greetings to graphic insults, NowThis News explores the many signs we use to communicate. 

"Today, we may be more likely to move our fingers across a tablet than turn the pages of a book; to swipe a card, press a button, or enter numbers onto a keypad than turn a key," Jen Doll writes in this month's issue of The Atlantic. "Yet when it comes to gesturing, certain outdated motions endure." Some hand gestures are ancient -- the thumbs up dates back to the Roman coliseum  -- and pretty much universal. Others mean different things in different cultures, as we discover in this video from NowThis News. A sign of agreement in one country can mean something unprintable in another. 
 

Read "Survival of the Finger: The Evolution of Hand Gestures" here

What LBJ Really Said About Selma

"It's outrageous what's on TV. It looks like that man is in charge of the country."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

What LBJ Really Said About Selma

"It's going to go from bad to worse."

Video

Does This Child Need Marijuana?

Inside a family's fight to use marijuana oils to treat epilepsy

Video

A Miniature 1950s Utopia

A reclusive artist built this idealized suburb to grapple with his painful childhood memories.

Video

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her school. Then the Internet heard her story.

More in Video

Just In