Flip People Off In All of the Ways

As Jezebel so succinctly puts it: “Impotent rage is the universal language.” That may be true, but sometimes in order to make your impotent rage feel a little less impotent, you need to be able to do something about it, even if that something is only flailing parts of your body in a gesture culturally agreed upon to be meaningful and negative. Do you feel you are limited in your ability to do this? Well DO WE HAVE GOOD NEWS FOR YOU.

The Atlantic has a helpful slideshow of ways that cultures around the world have utilized their physical beings, usually the upper torso area, to express feelings of dissatisfaction or unhappiness. While we are, as always, wildly optimistic about what this week holds for you, it’s possible that you will need to share some of these feelings. And also, it’s Monday morning, you’re probably at work or about to go to class, and let’s be honest, that’s total bullshit. Or, as the Brazilians might say/mime/gesture, papo furado! 


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intern veronica

no lies, just love

veronica has written 12 articles for us.


  1. Isn’t that picture wrong, though? Isn’t it meant to be like a reverse facing peace sign? Probably the thumbs up also means something…

    • It’s definitely the wrong picture. The “two fingered salute” they’re talking about is like a backward peace sign, except with your fingers a little more bent and a jerking movement upward. I’m Australian and am aware of that hand gesture being rude, but not thumbs up. I’m pretty sure thumbs up only means good things here, unless you’re using it sarcastically.

  2. My favorite way to flip someone off is to hold my fist up near my face, pull up my middle finger with my other hand like it’s the lid to a compact, pretend I’m looking in a mirror and powdering my nose, then pushing my middle finger back down and shutting the lid. Or I tell people, “I can do a magic trick! I can pull a bird out of my sleeve.” Then I put my opposite hand up my sleeve and return it with the middle finger extended, flipping a glorious bird.

    But maybe I should look at this slideshow so I can learn to be more subtle.

  3. 0hh!! I love ‘Moutza’!! Who knew I was simultaneously falling off my bike while flipping everyone the bird and exclaiming that I’m going to do bad things to your sister!! Such a young toothless angry lezzie 5 yr old I was.

  4. I just found out I failed a Spanish test I studied like Hell for. I’m doing the two-handed middle-finger over-head fist pump to the whole world right now.

  5. oh excellent. I recently moved to Bogotá and now I can politely inform the crazy taxi drivers honking on at me on my bike that their wife is cheating on them. Conveniently, the middling finger is also undefstood here, incase anyone was curious.

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