7 Italian Hand Gestures You Would Want to Learn for Your Next Italian Trip

7 Italian Hand Gestures You Would Want to Learn for Your Next Italian Trip

7 Italian Hand Gestures You Would Want to Learn for Your Next Italian Trip

The Italiano is known for one thing if not for anything else: hand gestures. The amazing Indo-European language is a blend of words and hand movements, just like breathing and living; without hand gestures, the language is incomplete. Designated as romance language and derived from Vulgar Latin, Italiano enjoys the status of the official language in 4 countries- Italy, San Marino, Switzerland, and the Vatican City.

Coming back to hand gestures, why Italian is spoken along with moving hands, has had many theories. Some explain, from 14th to 19th when Italy was under the rule of different foreign powers such as France, Spain, and Austria, the native people developed a way of communicating by hands as a red herring. Some tell stories with local reasons like, when major cities started to populate, gestures came in handy to mark territories.

Well, whatever the reason be, Italian is more about hand gestures than words. You’d be astonished to know, there are about 250 hand gestures used while speaking Italiano.

It would take an epic to cover all these two hundred and fifty gestures, and so we would be covering 7 of them which we are sure you’d love to gesticulate on your next Italian vacation.

Things have changed completely

You can tell a situation, a thing or a person has changed completely just by your hands and people around you would absolutely understand it. And that is only possible when you are in Italy. A combination of facial expressions and hand movement expresses it out. Place your hand palm down, flip the palm up accompanied by a sad or disappointed facial expressions and the phrase E Cambiata da cosi a cosi!

Biting the hand

One of the common Italian hand gestures across the world—biting your hand or a finger is a great way to convey, you are holding up something you want to blurt out in anger. All you need to do is, make a fist and bite the index finger with words uttered- Porca miseria or Cavolo or Mannaggia.

The Italian Horn gesture

The horn gesture is a predominant Italian hand gestures that is used across the globe but has varying meanings from culture to culture. The Italian horn is used to ward off the evil eye. It could be said as the Italian equivalent of touch wood! Just like the horn sign, you need to stick out the index and the pinkie which looks like horns. Now, what makes it different from the other horn gestures is moving your hand in and out thrice as if you are signalling someone or something to go away. Utter Tie! Meaning take it while you do that.

The Classic Italian Gesture

If Italiano had a symbol and it had a pictorial representation, it would be this hand gesture. The classic Italian hand gesture where tips of all the fingers and the thumb meet at one point, forming a pinecone, is the way you convey your disagreement or confusion. Accompanied by Ma che fai or Ma dove vai or Ma chi sei or Ma chi vuoi or simply Ma perche.

Hungry for Spaghetti!

A very simple way to say you are hungry and you want spaghetti is the spaghetti hand gesture. With your elbow facing sidewards, make a fork with your index and the middle finger and roll it in and out like chopsticks and that’s it, a plate of hot spaghetti would be served in time to you. Utter spaghettata to be clearer to send the message out.

Let’s leave together or Get outta here

There could be two possibilities when are sitting with someone: either you would want to leave the place with that person or you want to tell the person to leave. Well, for each of them, there is a Italian hand gesture.

Make a “call me” hand gesture with a little variation. Instead of the thumb and the pinkie stretching out pointing in opposite directions, loosen them up and roll the wrist in and out, three or four times. Andiamo (meaning ‘lets go!’) would make it chirpier when you are excited to leave a place for something more exciting. But doing it without words is louder than words, to convey you are uncomfortable and you want to leave.

Moving your left hand up and the right hand down such that your right palm hits the back of your left hand is the best way to say someone ‘bug off’ when you are in Italy. Say Togliti or Vattene makes it more effective.

Somethings wrong!

You find something fishy or you think someone is tricking you, the Italian way to convey it is by lowering your palm and moving your pinkie followed by others just as you’re playing the harp accompanied by the sound of aumm aumm. Hope you don’t have to use this one on your Italian vacation.

What makes Italiano an expressive language are hand gestures. Try these Italian gesture this time and you would be less differing from the Italian culture and the people.

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