South African Hand Gestures

I’ve been here almost 20 years now, and I don’t know however I have managed without this hugely informative guide to what hand gestures mean in South Africa.

Stuff like:

Wow. Beckoning means “come here”? Who knew?

Far more helpful would be a definition of the linguistic peculiarities like:

Listen, my friend.

Which when delivered means that the time to listen has long gone, and he is not your friend.

Ah yes, “the peace sign with palm towards body” or PSPTB for short. I’m glad they’ve clarified the meaning of this one. I’ve thought that I was just waving to people in the traffic for the past two decades.

Now I think that I finally understand their responses.

Also, as a sidenote, do you think the stock image above was posed? I mean, I want to say yes, but if not, there’s some wonderful depth of field stuff going on there, from a photographer who was clearly in some physical danger at the time it was taken.