Italian Hand Gestures

This entry is part 22 of 31 in the series My Italian Kitchen

Come spend 31 days in my Italian Kitchen with me and learn to cook delicious but easy recipes!

Today, we’ll take a little break from talking about Italian food and instead I’ll talk a little about a little culture. Italians talk with their hands, using gestures. It’s a pretty well-known fact; so much so that it’s become cliche’ and the butt of jokes. In one joke,  the punch line is an Italian guy who doesn’t crack under interrogation because the Nazis tie his hands and “How can I talk if my hands are tied?”

So with that in mind, let me share these two videos that describe all the hand gestures and what they mean. It’s an unofficial Italian sign language. We REALLY do use these! Ask my kids! When they were little, and we were at a friend’s house/the park/the soccer field and I would do the Italian sign language for “let’s go!” they knew exactly what I meant, without saying a word, but no one else did! We called it our “secret language!” Now I’m letting you in on it. I’m sharing all my secrets with you!

This first video is great! He gives you a quick history lesson. This guy is from Naples (I can tell by his accent – he sounds like my mom) Be sure to check out his facial expressions! They are a very important of the hand gestures! The two things go hand in hand!

This next guy does a lot of the same gestures but a few of them are different so I decided to include this one too. I have to say, I do use a LOT of these. Not all, but a lot. My husband and my kids have learned them too.

The obscene ones, which are not included in these videos, “say” the same kinds of things the American counterpart say.  Although the gestures are not the same as the American ones, they communicate the same kind of thing. Okay. Enough about that. This is a “G” rated blog after all!

Here’s a little test. Do you know what this means?


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About Sheila @ Making the Most of Every Day

I'm a wife, mom, and a homeschool teacher. I'm always behind on housework and paper pile sorting. I'm fond of this crazy life but not of melted cheese. I want to follow hard after God, making each day really count. I like to run, read, cook (and eat!). Thanks for joining along on my journey!