The Daily Insight – 9-6-08 – Insulting Hand Gestures

The man in the following picture is making an insulting gesture known as “The Sign of the Animal” in Happeh Theory nomenclature.

The man in the next picture is making an insulting hand gesture called “The Sign of the Loser”.

The man in this picture is making a gesture known as “The Sign of the Small Penis” in Happeh Theory nomenclature.

All three gestures involve bringing the hand up to the head.


A curious person might find themselves wondering about the answers to the following questions about the three different insulting gestures.

(1) – What else could The Sign of the Animal, The Sign of the Loser, and The Sign of the Small Penis have in common besides the fact they are all insulting hand gestures that involve raising the hand up by the head?

(2) – Why would raising the hand up by the head be taken as an insult?

(3) – Why do the different positions of the fingers indicate different insults?

(4) – Would the hand gestures still be insulting if they were not held up by the head? If each gesture was made by the waist for example, would it still be interpreted as an insult?


Want some clues?

(1) – How is the hand raised up to the head in order to perform each insulting gesture? That question might seem trivial. The obvious answer is “the hand is raised up towards the head”. But how? Exactly how is the hand raised up to the head? Does the shoulder raise the upper arm and elbow upwards, then the elbow moves the lower arm and hand by the head?

Are you sure?

(2) – Where do the hands belong? Don’t they normally belong at the side of the body at the end of hanging arms?

(3) – What motivates the fingers? Are the fingers in each insulting gesture moved the muscles of the hand? Are you certain?

(4) – In insult is directed at a victim. Could the hand gesture be directed towards a victim if the hand gesture is made at some location of the body other than the face?

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