Italians are recognised worldwide for their expressive hand gestures, no conversation is complete without them. Ever wondered what they all mean?
What? Where? Why?
Perhaps the most versatile and frequently used; there is not one single Italian speaker that does not use this on a daily basis! Some of us non-natives have realised we even use it when we’re not speaking Italian!
Look at that a**hole
Finito (no more)
This one is used often, but the meaning is less clear to non-natives; it simply means “all gone”. Another gesture that involves a similar movement of the hand, but the index finger instead points into the cheek means “tasty”.
Go f*** yourself!
Again, we love the eyebrows that accompany this simple expression of moving your hand up and down to tell someone to “go away”; you could say it might come in “handy” if someone is annoying you!
If you could only imagine…
This is one of our favourites; similar to many Italian hand gestures, this one is often used in casual conversations between friends, family or neighbours – “oh if only you knew”. The facial expression is also a key part to this one.
I dont care
If you simply do not care about what someone is saying or has just said, and you feel that you can’t even express yourself with words; this simple gesture will suffice.
Confusing for people who have not seen this gesture before, it could be interpreted as “something smelly”. However, you would be mistaken; in Italian this hand gesture means “forget it!”
Intrawelt advises you to use these gestures with caution. We take no responsibility for the consequences of the use of these gestures, and as a language service provider note that for us, words speak just as loudly as actions!
Illustrations by: Alfredo Cassano