Italian hand gestures
Posted: 03 July 2013 11:43 AM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  1347
Joined  2007-04-28

I remember reading in Peter Farb’s Word Play: What Happens when People Talk that there was a bilingual New York mayor who was pretty sedate when giving speeches in English but would wave his arms around extravagantly when speaking Italian (more gesticulation than the gestures described here.)

Also, the article refers to the old cuckold/horns gesture which is now used by young rock and MMA fans in a positive “rock on/party on/wild abandon” way outside Italy.

Margaret Thatcher famously did Churchill’s “V for victory” sign the wrong way round so that it meant “fuck off”, the result of a sheltered upbringing probably.

Posted: 03 July 2013 03:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  1408
Joined  2007-02-14

I believe that mayor would have been LaGuardia.  And I believe he was tri-lingual.  It has been said you could tell in newsreels without the sound of his speech whether he was talking in English, Italian, or Yiddish.