Hand Signs of Teenagers

by Charlie Johnson
Teens use body language and hand symbols as a way of communicating with one another.

Teens use body language and hand symbols as a way of communicating with one another.

Communication for teenagers depends as much on body language as it does on the words. Teenagers will use hand signals as a way of showing their opinions, and also as a way of affirming their role or place within a group and culture. For instance, congratulating a friend for an achievement by giving them a high five, is a way of showing that you understand the social and cultural conventions of your peers.

Thumbs-Up

Holding all four finger tightly together like a fist, and then having your thumb point upwards is a sign of congratulations. It is a way of saying "good job" and is often accompanied by a smile. A variation on this is giving something two thumbs-up which would be showing extreme pleasure or pride in someone or something.

A-OK

Holding your thumb and forefinger together while forming a circle with the other fingers of your hand relaxed and curved over top of the O is the sign for A-OK. This is a hand gesture used by scuba-divers to demonstrate that everything is alright. The meaning holds true as well for teenagers. A-OK, is a way of showing that things are good, and also of giving congratulations or support to someone.

Thumbs-Down

A variation of the thumbs-up is the thumbs-down. This gesture is done by closing your four fingers into a fist, while turning your thumb downwards as a sign of displeasure. It is a way of showing that you did not like something, or that it was very poorly done. The thumbs-down symbol is also a way of saying "boo." As with thumbs-up, two thumbs-down is a way of showing extreme displeasure.

Victory Sign (V-Sign)

The V-sign is done by holding down your your pinky and your ring finger with the thumb from the same hand, and spreading your index and middle finger apart so that it makes a V sign. This is the symbol for victory and is a sign of pride and of winning. Have your palm facing outward as you do this, as having your palm facing inward is a sign of disrespect.

The Corna

The corna is made by holding up your index and pinkie fingers while holding down your middle and ring fingers with the thumb from the same hand. This makes a shape like two horns. The corna is used by Americans as a party sign. It is a way of showing people that you are having a good time, are enjoying yourself or that you are celebrating. Originally, the symbol was thought to have satanic connotations, but this has gradually fallen out of common parlance.

About the Author

Based in Toronto, Ontario, Charlie Johnson began writing professionally about music and food in 2006. She has worked in the food service industry since 2003 and has been a professional musician since 1998. She writes about music, food, cooking, education and travel. Johnson holds a Bachelor of Music degree from McGill University.

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