10 Innocent Hand Gestures You Should Never Use Abroad

Certain gestures that are innocent in the United States mean something completely different (and offensive) overseas. Avoid these 10 hand signals when traveling abroad!

Peace Sign With Palm Facing Inward – Trying to order two beers from the bartender or wish someone peace in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand? Make sure that when you have your index and middle fingers pointed up in the V shape, your palm is facing outward. Otherwise, you’re giving the equivalent of the middle finger. Avoid Using In: United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand.

Thumbs-Up – The thumbs-up signals approval in the U.S. and on Facebook, but in Afghanistan, Iran, parts of Italy, and Greece, it means “up yours.” So next time you’re trying to hitchhike in, say, Tuscany, you should reconsider before sticking out your thumb. Avoid Using In: Afghanistan, Iran, parts of Italy, and Greece.

The OK –  Turns out making a circle with your index finger and thumb is not OK in certain countries. In France, for example, it means “zero” or “worthless.” In Venezuela, Turkey, and Brazil, it’s a vulgar slang that will offend pretty much anyone you flash it at. Avoid Using In: Turkey, Brazil, Venezuela, and France.

Check out the rest of the list at Smarter Travel here.

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