Friday, August 26, 2011

Japanese Gestures: "Girlfriend", "Boyfriend"


For life in Japan,  they have gestures for "girlfriend" or "boyfriend". Girlfriend is made by extending the pinky finger. It's sometimes used in a slightly lewd way to indicate a mistress or secret lover. I've seen this gesture many times.

My wife tells me there is a similar gesture for boyfriend by extending the thumb. I've never really seen this, though I'm not a girl. I suspect it's not as common because it might be confused with "Thumbs up".


The origin of these gestures might be the meaning or names of the finger "family". There is a member of the family associated with each finger of the hand:

Thumb- "Otosan yubi" Father finger. (Also known as the Parent finger)

Index Finger- "Okasan yubi" Mother finger

Middle Finger- "Onisan yubi" Brother finger

Ring Finger- "Onesan yubi" Sister finger

Pinky- "Akachan yubi" Baby Finger

There are superstitions associated with the thumb or parent finger. For example, if you see a hearse, you should hide your thumb or you won't see your parents when they die. To read more, check out my article on Japanese Superstitions.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...