COMMON GESTURES Among Americans
- Americans are a not touch oriented.
- In normal social situations, Americans generally stand about 30 inches apart from one another, which is also considered their personal “comfort zone.”
- At sporting events or the theatre, Americans usually slide into a crowded aisle while facing forward, away from the people.
|Americans shake hands, and from an early age they are taught to do so with a firm, solid grip.||When greeting one another.|
|American children are taught to look others directly in the eyes.||When greeting and conversing. If not, means shyness or weakness.|
|Arm raised and the open hand “waggles” back and forth.||Signaling “hello” or “good-bye.” Or trying to get someone’s attention.|
|Americans will often wave to another person and then turn to make hand scoop inward; or raise the index finger, palm toward one’s face, and make a “curling ” motion with that finger.||To beckon or summon another person.|
|Palm facing out with the index and middle fingers displayed in the shape of a “V.”||“Victory” or “peace.”|
|Thumb and forefinger form a circle with the other three fingers splayed upward; it is used frequently and enthusiastically.||“O.K.” meaning “fine” or “yes.”|
|Thumb up with a close fist.||Meaning support or approval, “O.K.” or “Good Going!” or “Good job!”|
|Fist raised with index finger and little finger extended.||Texas rallying call “hook ’em horns.” Baseball meaning “two outs.”|
|Whistling||Pretty woman, cheering at sporting events, applauding performances.|
|Nodding and shaking the head.||Yes and No|
|Extend the forefinger and make a circular motion near the temple or ear.||
Something or someone is “crazy.”