Italian gestures PT.1

Author: Alessia Di Cunto, 10/01/2021.

Italian people are known all around the world for their kindness, the way they host and help people (I know, I’m an Italian girl. How couldn’t I say so?).

One of the first thing that a stranger could say about us is that we always use our hands while we talk; in fact, one of my professors always said that we had to learn how to stop using them, because someone could misunderstand our intentions.

Years later, I’m here to say that I LOVE Italian gestures, especially because it’s part of our culture, it reflects the way we are and live here in Italy.

A few days ago, I asked you if you could be interested in knowing something more about this argument, and surprisingly, YOU ARE!

Below, I will talk about the TOP 6. Let’s begin!


1. What (do you want, do you mean, are you saying)?

Design made by Francesco Pisciottano

This gesture is used to indicate surprise, uncertainty or something similar. For example, if you’re talking with someone and you don’t understand what he means, or you don’t agree with him, this gesture is something like: “What are you saying?”

How to do it? Simple; just close the fingertips (usually the right hand) all together and shake your wrist. Look doubtful and you’ll be done!

2. There’s no more/no one

Design made by Francesco Pisciottano

Let’s imagine this scene. You’re having a dinner with your friends and your home; everything was so delicious, you best friend ate everything and he especially enjoyed the dessert. After having eaten the second portion he asks for a third one but unfortunately THERE’S NO MORE. That’s the gesture you use in this case and other similar.

How to do it? Point your index and thumb and shake the wrist right and left fast. Easy!

3. I don’t care

Design made by Francesco Pisciottano

We use this gesture to express that we don’t care about something that’s being said, or something that’s coming in a early future. Personally, I think about this gesture when I’m angry: you don’t like me? Fine, I don’t care.

How to do it? Slide your fingertips (not the thumb) going fast from under the chin to the outside.

4. That’s good!

Design made by Francesco Pisicottano

Quite simple. Use it to approve on something or to give a good opinion about a fact. Of course, we alternate this one with a thumbs-up

How to do it? Create a mini-circle using your index and thumb fingertips. Usually, we also blink an eye!

5. Go away

Design made by Francesco Pisciottano

If you’re fighting/discussing with someone, and you don’t want him to talk anymore just use this gesture to say “go away/you must go now”. Obviously, this is just an example, but that’s what this gesture means: GO AWAY.

How to do it? Keep your finger tips strictly close to each other (usually the thumb comes to the centre of the palm) and shake your hand bottom-up quickly.

6. It’s just you…

Design made by Francesco Pisciottano

You’ve been left alone, you broke up with you girlfriend/boyfriend. When your best friend comes to you and you don’t have any intention of going out and make some new friends, then your mate will do this gesture. All he wants to say is that it’s just you, you’re alone. Get up, and do something! Sometimes we could use it to say something like “you are a little goofball, you don’t react properly”.

How to do it? Close the fingertips together, as we did for “what” gesture, but this time shake your wrist left to right fast many times.


So that’s the end of Part One. Considering the above, I would say that it’s just a little part of all the gestures we have here in Italy. Let me know down here in the comments if you do know any of them, if you like/dislike them and, of course, if you would like to learn about this topic!

Obviously, there’s Part Two ready to come if you want it.

Thanks for reading,

Alessia

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