Thread Tools
Old 10-30-2005, 08:53 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Arizona
Posts: 12,249
The "Shame, shame" sign.

Okay, I was just talking to someone on IM about an hour ago. She told me she was going to get Burger King later. Now this is a friend of mine who always chastises ME about eating fast, in ribbing her about it in a light-hearted way, I replied back with "Shame shame *does the finger thing*"

And that got me thinking....

First of all, I hope everyone will understand what I mean by "the finger thing". It's where you take one finger (the index) and stick it out like you're pointing at something, and then you take the other index finger of your other hand and rub it on the first one (over the top), in a downward motion just to repeat the process.

I then went to several American Sign Language sites and all to no avail. And it's not exactly the type of thing that's easily googled..however I did try, in vain, for about 10 minutes.

So what of it? This sign that's known as "Shame on you", how did it become so? I mean, it seems like it has nothing to do with, well, anything. Just a random movement of the hands. How did this ever come to mean "Shame, shame" or "Naughty naughty"?

Or maybe, like my last GQ question, about the phrase "mums the word", it's really simple.
Old 10-30-2005, 09:04 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 22,536
Apparently, the origin of this gesture is unknown:
Mark Knapp...and other experts say the whittling motion of the non-pointing finger indicates "friction." Making this gesture toward someone indicates "you are causing trouble between us!"

The origin of the "shame-shame" motion is unknown, but it does seem to be limited almost entirely to the United States. They've got a similar hand jive in Wales, Germany and Austria, but in those places you make a sawing motion with the non-pointing finger. Weird, huh?
Old 10-31-2005, 01:31 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Anderson, IN,USA
Posts: 14,584
The story I got a long time ago (sorry, no cite) is that in some long-ago place, some minor crimes were punished by lopping off a finger. So, in mimicking the amputation, you are saying, "Hoo, boy, are you gonna get in trouble for that!"
"You know what they say about sleeping dogs; you can't trust 'em." --Oliver Faltz
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:39 AM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: ps3 hdmi replacement pawning tvs purse or pocketbook pvt pile anonymous photo board colin vs collin roger and wilco address in sweden gin mixed with utter udder cake with file russ bianchi bio lamisil or lotramin stalin seminary rotating tempurpedic mattress gop mean walkie talkie license unflavored doritos breaking glasses wild on netflix metabolite pill teen orphans oprah's minge comet jingle patton oswalt casino tourneau corporate plural of magic bar drum magazine chino moreno fat flexible gutter white people smell american restore toyota service advisor salary washington dc to chicago drive swedish people physical characteristics statue of limitations on bench warrants what is my education level south park the aristocrats how to clean a feather bed why is the left testicle lower than the right what does clicks mean in military terms how fast does the body make blood suicide by blood loss civilian funeral military uniform pool balls set up average horse penis length how to get rid of old textbooks why did the rifleman series end what kind of car does steve harvey drive why is the state capital important anne hathaway bacon number why does teller never talk how to make yourself pass out without hurting yourself lithium 123 vs 123a is coffee still good the next day fortune cookie no fortune quick change artist secrets farming shrimp at home it was called the cold war because russia is cold lyrics what is inside a butterfinger where to buy safety razor how long does it take for a snake to die how to accept being alone forever stainless steel drip pans