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Greek Facial and Hand Gestures – Does “No” Mean “Indeed”?

Greek Facial and Hand Gestures – Does “No” Mean “Indeed”?

As lots of Greeks will notify you, the Greek language is a pretty abundant language and when a indigenous speaker is in motion, it is normally also accompanied by a rich assortment of facial and hand gestures. These serve, both equally consciously and unconsciously, to give emphasis to that which is becoming explained, or can be utilized on their personal as a non-verbal response.


Greeks do not typically shake their heads from aspect to facet to show a destructive reaction i.e. “no”. Rather they tilt the head upwards and backwards, and then back again down to searching right forward. This is carried out only once. This ought to not be mistaken for a nodding of the head that means “indeed”. Occasionally the tilting of the head is accompanied by an audible simply click of the tongue in opposition to the teeth. There are also variations on this. For emphasis, meaning some thing like “no, of system not” or “no, you might be way off the mark” the head may well be tilted up and back in a incredibly slow deliberate movement at times with a partial or entire closing of the eyes. On other situations, the full motion can be minimized to a quite slight and brief boosting of the eyebrows. This can be very hard to detect, for that reason leading you to check with your issue consistently to that man or woman until finally the movement gets additional perceptible or they reduce endurance with you and truly inform you their reply. Non-verbal responses can be astonishingly strong and can elicit an attention-grabbing response from a foreigner who is not utilised to it. For instance, you may possibly consider that the sluggish deliberate “no” movement indicates that your listener thinks what you have reported or proposed to be entirely preposterous and not deserving of a verbal reaction – you would be mistaken.


For “certainly”, the head is tilted downwards and a little bit to a single aspect. As with “no”, this is finished only the moment. Yet again, this can be done slowly and intentionally for included emphasis.

Shaking the head

As we have viewed this does not imply “no”. It serves to indicate that anyone does not realize what is staying stated to them or alternatively, the motive it is remaining said. This is in some cases accompanied by an extension of the hand outwards with palm facing down to the flooring and then rotating it, with the thumb and 1st two fingers extended, until eventually the palm is dealing with up.

Impolite and vulgar hand gestures

Appear on, I have to cover at least one or two. As in many international locations, there are impolite and vulgar hand gestures that are extra expressive than any phrases in particular circumstances. The Greeks have an expression which actually translated means “I am writing you on my testicles”!. This actually means “I am thoroughly disregarding what you are saying”. It would get also lengthy to go into the a lot of Greek sayings, but I have also listened to an interesting variation on this 1 uttered by a lady, which goes “I am going to grow testicles just so I can produce you on them”! Anyway, the relevant hand gesture, which is normally utilised alone with no the expression, is a swift motion of equally palms downwards, palms facing up, and fingertips pretty much touching forming a v-shape above the belly, as if indicating the spot of the genitalia. Ultimately, yet another hand gesture which is a rude way of telling an individual to “go away” (I am going to allow you use your creativity and resourceful expertise), is to prolong your arm in the path of your concentrate on with a closed fist. Then as the arm is fully prolonged, the fingers are unfold commonly revealingly the palm at a 45-diploma angle to the ground. It is carried out in just one movement and is similar to the motion of throwing a ball. This is possibly most frequently witnessed on the road involving motorists. Having said that, this will be regarded as a potent insult if utilized on a stranger, so be organized to offer with literally any effects before resorting to it!