English Vocabulary

Hand Gestures in English and Their Meaning

Hand Gestures in English
Written by mrmrsenglish.com

This is a really fascinating subject; hand gestures differ greatly throughout the world. Hand gestures have different meanings in different parts of the world and among different civilizations. Communication requires the use of hand gestures, especially while speaking a foreign language. They serve as a fantastic means of ensuring that our arguments are supported and that our points are understood. Hand Gestures in English and Their Meaning.

List of Hand Gestures In English:

  • Wave
  • Point
  • Thumbs up
  • Thumbs down
  • Peace sign
  • Fist bump
  • High five
  • Okay sign
  • Finger snap
  • Crossed fingers
  • Victory sign
  • Clenched fist
  • Rock on sign
  • Shaka sign
  • Stop gesture
  • Salute
  • Air quotes
  • Handshake
  • Waving goodbye
  • Pinching fingers

Hand Gestures and Their Meaning:

  • Wave:
    Saying hello or goodbye by moving your hand back and forth.
    Hand Gestures meaning |Wave in English
  • Point:
    Indicating direction or drawing attention by extending your finger.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Point in English
  • Thumbs up:
    Showing approval or agreement by raising your thumb.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Thumbs up in English
  • Thumbs down:
    Expressing disapproval or disagreement by lowering your thumb.
    Hand Gestures meaning |Thumbs down in English
  • Peace sign:
    Forming a V-shape with your fingers to signify peace or victory.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Peace sign in English
  • Fist bump:
    Tapping fists together as a friendly greeting or agreement.
    Hand Gestures meaning |Fist bump in English
  • High five:
    Slapping palms together above shoulder level to celebrate or show excitement.
    Hand Gestures meaning | High five in English
  • Okay sign:
    Create a circle with your thumb and index finger to signal agreement or approval.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Okay sign in English
  • Finger snap:
    Make a snapping sound by quickly pressing your fingers together and releasing them.
    Hand Gestures meaning |Finger snap in English
  • Crossed fingers:
    Folding your fingers over each other to bring luck or hope for success.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Crossed fingers in English
  • Victory sign:
    Extending your index and middle fingers in a V-shape to signify success.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Victory sign in English
  • Clenched fist:
    Holding your hand tightly with all fingers curled inward, often showing determination or anger.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Clenched fist in English
  • Rock on sign:
    Extending your index and pinky fingers while keeping the others folded, is often associated with rock music.
    Hand Gestures meaning |Rock on sign in English
  • Shako sign:
    Make a gesture with your thumb and pinky finger to express friendship or relaxation.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Shaka sign in English
  • Stop gesture:
    Holding your hand out with the palm facing forward to signal someone to halt or stop.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Stop gesture in English
  • Salute:
    Raising your hand to your forehead is a sign of respect, typically in military or formal settings.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Salute in English
  • Air quotes:
    Use your fingers to gesture quotation marks while speaking to indicate quoted speech or irony.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Air quotes in English
  • Handshake:
    Gripping another person’s hand and shaking it up and down as a customary greeting or agreement.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Handshake in English
  • Waving goodbye:
    Saying farewell by moving your hand back and forth.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Waving goodbye in English
  • Pinching fingers:
    Bringing your thumb and index finger together to form a pinching motion, often used to express smallness or a tiny amount.
    Hand Gestures meaning |Pinching fingers in English

Hand Gestures in English

Why do hand gestures matter so much?

  • Raised index finger
  • Begging gesture
  • Nodding
  • Shushing gesture
  • Facepalm
  • Raised hand
  • Praying hands
  • Tapping fingers
  • Stroking chin
  • Blowing a kiss

Hand Gestures With Their Images:

  • Raised index finger:
    Holding your index finger up to signal attention or make a point.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Raised index finger in English
  • Begging gesture:
    Moving both hands up and down in front of your body, typically to ask for something.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Begging gesture in English
  • Nodding:
    Moving your head up and down to show agreement or understanding.
    Hand Gestures meaning |Nodding in English
  • Shushing gesture:
    Pressing a finger to your lips to signal silence or quiet.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Shushing gesture in English
  • Facepalm:
    Covering your face with your hand as a gesture of frustration, embarrassment, or disbelief.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Facepalm in English
  • Raised hand:
    Holding your hand up with the palm facing outward to indicate a desire to speak or ask a question.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Raised hand in English
  • Praying hands:
    Pressing your palms together in front of your chest as a gesture of prayer or supplication.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Praying hands in English
  • Tapping fingers:
    Lightly tapping your fingers on a surface or in the air, often indicating impatience or nervousness.
    Hand Gestures meaning |Tapping fingers in English
  • Stroking chin:
    Gently touching or rubbing your chin with your fingers, often done when thinking or
    contemplating.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Stroking chin in English
  • Blowing a kiss:
    Kissing your fingers and then blowing the gesture towards someone as an expression of affection or farewell.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Blowing a kiss in English

What hand gestures say about a person?

  • Throat slash gesture
  • Finger wag
  • Money gesture
  • Heart sign
  • Devil horns
  • Open palm
  • Closed palm
  • Fist shake
  • Wrist flick
  • Wrist twist
  • Fist in palm
  • Raised pinky finger
  • Hook ’em horns
  • Smoking gesture
  • Phone gesture
  • Writing gesture
  • Throat slash gesture:
    Drawing your hand across your throat in a slashing motion, typically to signal danger or death.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Throat slash gesture in English
  • Finger wag:
    Shaking your index finger back and forth as a gesture of admonition or warning.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Finger wag in English
  • Money gesture:
    Rubbing your thumb against your fingertips to indicate money or wealth.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Money gesture in English
  • Heart sign:
    Forming a heart shape with your hands is often used to express love or affection.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Heart sign in English
  • Devil horns:
    Extending your index and pinky fingers upward while keeping the others folded, is often associated with rock music or as a playful gesture.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Devil horns in English
  • Open palm:
    Extending your hand with the palm facing upward, often used to indicate honesty or openness.
    Hand Gestures meaning |Open palm in English
  • Closed palm:
    Curling your fingers inward to close your hand into a fist, often indicating secrecy or withholding.
    Hand Gestures meaning |Closed palm in English
  • Fist shake:
    Shaking a clenched fist in the air is often used to express anger or frustration.
    Hand Gestures meaning |Fist shake in English
  • Wrist flick:
    Quickly bending your wrist to flick your hand in a particular direction, is often used to dismiss or discard something.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Wrist flick in English
  • Wrist twist:
    Rotating your wrist in a twisting motion, often used to demonstrate flexibility or agility.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Wrist twist in English
  • Fist in palm:
    Placing a clenched fist into an open palm is often used to express determination or resolve.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Fist in palm in English
  • Raised pinky finger:
    Extending your pinky finger while keeping the others folded, is often used as a gesture of refinement or delicacy.
    Hand Gestures meaning |Raised pinky finger in English
  • Hook ’em horns:
    Extending your index and pinky fingers while keeping the others folded, is often used as a sign of support or encouragement, especially in sports.
    Hook 'em horns in English
  • Smoking gesture:
    Holding an imaginary cigarette between your fingers and bringing it to your mouth as if smoking.
    Smoking gesture in English
  • Phone gesture:
    Holding an imaginary phone to your ear with your hand.
    Phone gesture in English
  • Writing gesture:
    Mimicking writing with your hand as if holding a pen or pencil.
    Writing gesture in English

Hand Gestures in English

Hand Gestures meaning with pictures:

  • Guitar strumming
  • Peace fingers behind head
  • Peace fingers behind back
  • Silence gesture
  • Begging hands
  • Namaste gesture
  • Holding hands together
  • Cupping gesture
  • Throwing gesture
  • Index finger to lips
  • Finger to temple gesture
  • Stretched hand
  • Tensed fingers
  • Clapping
  • Flicking fingers

Gestures and their meanings list:

  • Guitar strumming:
    Make strumming motions with your fingers as if playing a guitar.
    Guitar strumming in English
  • Peace fingers behind head:
    Placing both hands behind your head with the fingers forming a peace sign, is often used to express relaxation or nonchalance.
    Peace fingers behind head in English
  • Peace fingers behind back:
    Crossing both hands behind your back with the fingers forming a peace sign, often used to indicate a desire for peace or harmony.
    Peace fingers behind back in English
  • Silence gesture:
    Pressing a finger to your lips in a “shh” motion to signal silence or quiet.
    Silence gesture in English
  • Begging hands:
    Holding both hands together in front of your body and moving them up and down, typically to ask for something.
    Begging hands in English
  • Namaste gesture:
    Pressing your palms together in front of your chest and bowing slightly, is often used as a greeting or farewell in yoga or spiritual contexts.
    Namaste gesture in English
  • Holding hands together:
    Interlocking your fingers or clasping your hands together, often used to express unity, solidarity, or prayer.
    Holding hands together in English
  • Cupping gesture:
    Forming a cup shape with your hands, is often used to hold or contain something.
    Cupping gesture in English
  • Throwing gesture:
    Extending your hand forward as if throwing an object.
    Throwing gesture in English
  • Index finger to lips:
    Placing your index finger vertically against your lips in a “shh” motion to signal silence or quiet.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Index finger to lips in English
  • Finger to temple gesture:
    Tapping or pointing to your temple with your index finger, is often used to indicate thinking or intelligence.
    Hand Gestures meaning |Finger to temple gesture in English
  • Stretched hand:
    Extending your hand outward with your fingers spread wide, is often used to reach or grab something.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Stretched hand in English
  • Tensed fingers:
    Clenching or tightening your fingers into a fist or tense position often indicates stress, anxiety, or readiness.
    Tensed fingers in English
  • Clapping: Bringing your palms together with force to create a clapping sound, often used to applaud or show appreciation.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Clapping in English
  • Flicking fingers:
    Quickly moving your fingers in a flicking motion, often used to remove dirt or debris.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Flicking fingers: in English

Hand Gestures in English

Hand Gestures in Communication:

  • Beckoning gesture
  • Flat hand
  • Knuckle tap
  • Spiderman gesture
  • Rubbing hands
  • Patting gesture
  • Scratch gesture
  • Hand on heart
  • Face touching
  • Ear grabbing
  • Nose tapping
  • Chin stroking
  • Cheek pinching
  • Neck rubbing
  • Shoulder shrug

powerful hand Gestures:

  • Beckoning gesture:
    Extending your hand with the palm facing upward and making a curling motion with your fingers, is often used to invite or beckon someone to come closer.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Beckoning gesture in English
  • Flat hand:
    Extending your hand with the palm facing downward is often used to indicate a stop or to flatten something.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Flat hand in English
  • Knuckle tap:
    Tapping your knuckles against a surface or another person’s knuckles as a form of greeting or camaraderie.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Knuckle tap in English
  • Spiderman gesture:
    Extending your fingers outward with the palm facing forward in a gesture resembling Spiderman’s web-shooting pose.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Spiderman gesture in English
  • Rubbing hands:
    Rubbing your palms together in a circular or back-and-forth motion is often used to generate warmth or anticipation.
    Hand Gestures meaning |Rubbing hands in English
  • Patting gesture:
    Lightly tapping or slapping the surface with the palm of your hand, is often used to express approval or encouragement.
    Patting gesture in English
  • Scratch gesture:
    Using your fingers to scratch an itch or rub a particular area of your body.
    Scratch gesture in English
  • Hand on heart:
    Placing your hand over your heart as a gesture of sincerity, love, or respect.
    Hand on heart in English
  • Face touching:
    Touching or stroking your face with your hand, often done unconsciously or to express emotion.
    Face touching | in English
  • Ear grabbing:
    Holding or tugging on your earlobe with your fingers is often used to express frustration, embarrassment, or contemplation.
    Ear grabbing in English
  • Nose tapping:
    Tapping or touching your nose with your fingers is often used to indicate thoughtfulness or discretion.
    Nose tapping in English
  • Chin stroking:
    Stroking or rubbing your chin with your fingers is often used to indicate deep thought or contemplation.
    Chin stroking in English
  • Cheek pinching:
    Gently pinching or squeezing your cheek with your fingers, often done affectionately or playfully.
    Cheek pinching in English
  • Neck rubbing:
    Rubbing or massaging your neck with your hand is often used to relieve tension or discomfort.
    Neck rubbing in English
  • Shoulder shrug:
    Raising your shoulders upward and then dropping them, is often used to express uncertainty or indifference.
    Shoulder shrug in English

Hand Gestures in English

Hand Gestures and Their Meaning list:

  • Elbow nudging
  • Wrist rubbing
  • Fingertip tapping
  • Palm rubbing
  • Thumb twiddling
  • Finger drumming
  • Wrist flicking
  • Fist pounding
  • Fingernail tapping
  • Thumb pressing
  • Finger circling
  • Hand twisting
  • Palm slapping
  • Finger flicking
  • Wrist bending

The Meaning of Hand Gestures:

  • Elbow nudging:
    Lightly tapping or nudging someone with your elbow as a friendly gesture or to get their attention.
    Elbow nudging in English
  • Wrist rubbing:
    Rubbing or massaging your wrist with your fingers is often used to relieve discomfort or pain.
    Wrist rubbing in English
  • Fingertip tapping:
    Tapping your fingertips against a surface rhythmically or nervously.
    Fingertip tapping in English
  • Palm rubbing:
    Rubbing your palms together in a circular motion is often used to generate heat or anticipation.
    Palm rubbing in English
  • Thumb twiddling:
    Rotating or twirling your thumbs around each other, often done absentmindedly or when feeling nervous.
    Thumb twiddling in English
  • Finger drumming:
    Tapping your fingers on a surface in a rhythmic pattern is often done to pass the time or express impatience.
    Finger drumming in English
  • Wrist flicking:
    Quickly flicking your wrist to move your hand or fingers in a particular direction, is often used to dismiss or indicate disinterest.
    Wrist flicking in English
  • Fist pounding:
    Banging or hitting your fist against a surface with force, often used to express frustration or anger.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Fist pounding in English
  • Fingernail tapping:
    Tapping your fingernails against a surface lightly is often done out of habit or to create a rhythmic sound.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Fingernail tapping in English
  • Thumb pressing:
    Pressing your thumb against a surface or object with force is often used to apply pressure or make a point.
    Hand Gestures meaning |Thumb pressing in English
  • Finger circling:
    Making circular motions with your fingers is often used to indicate rotation or repetition.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Finger circling in English
  • Hand twisting:
    Twisting or rotating your hand or wrist in a circular motion is often used to indicate flexibility or agility.
    Hand Gestures meaning |Hand twisting in English
  • Palm slapping:
    Slapping the palm of your hand against a surface with force is often used as a form of applause or to get someone’s attention.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Palm slapping in English
  • Finger flicking:
    Flicking one or more fingers against a surface or object lightly, often done playfully or to indicate movement.
    Hand Gestures meaning |Finger flicking in English
  • Wrist bending:
    Bending or flexing your wrist in different directions, is often used to exercise or stretch the wrist muscles.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Wrist bending in English

Hand Gesture Meaning in English:

  • Hand flexing
  • Knuckle cracking
  • Finger tracing
  • Hand opening
  • Hand closing
  • Hand spreading
  • Hand squeezing
  • Hand rubbing

Gesture definition and meaning:

  • Hand flexing:
    Flexing or contracting the muscles of your hand is often done to relieve stiffness or tension.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Hand flexing in English
  • Knuckle cracking:
    Bending or stretching your fingers until the knuckles crack, is often done to relieve tension or as a nervous habit.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Knuckle cracking in English
  • Finger tracing:
    Running your fingertips lightly over a surface or object is often done to explore or trace shapes.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Finger tracing in English
  • Hand opening:
    Spreading your fingers apart and extending your hand outward, is often used to reach or grab something.
    Hand Gestures meaning |Hand opening in English
  • Hand closing:
    Bringing your fingers and thumb together to form a closed fist or grip, often used to grasp or hold onto something.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Hand closing in English
  • Hand spreading:
    Extending your fingers apart from each other is often used to indicate width or breadth.
    Hand Gestures meaning |Hand spreading in English
  • Hand squeezing:
    Applying pressure to something by tightening the fingers or hand muscles, is often used to test firmness or resilience.
    Hand Gestures meaning |Hand squeezing in English
  • Hand rubbing:
    Rubbing your hands together in a circular motion is often used to generate warmth or to express anticipation.
    Hand Gestures meaning | Hand rubbing in English

Hand Gestures in English

FAQS

Why do hand gestures matter so much?
Which hand motions are most commonly used?
How can everyone go viral with their hand gestures?

How to Use Your Hands to Speak?

Let’s discuss suitable hand usage before moving on to the top hand gestures you can use:
Make responsible use of your hand motions. Please only make safe gestures!

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About the author

mrmrsenglish.com

The Author is a Certified TEFL Trainer from Arizona State University having experience of 7 years in teaching English worldwide to the students with diverse culture. He is a passionate English language trainer by both profession and passion.

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