A Nice Gesture by Jeroen Arendsen

Various personal interests and public info, gesture, signs, language, social robotics, healthcare, innovation, music, publications, etc.

A Quick Brazilian Trick

Trust the Brazilians to come up with a great move, be it in football or gesturing. I already read and saw the Brazilian gesture for speed, but you really need to see the action.

Can you do it? Hold your thumb and middle finger together, relax your finger muscles, but hold your wrist. Then shake your hand so your index finger snaps against the middle finger. It sounds a bit like snapping your fingers, which in the U.S. can mean quickly as well, but is mostly a rude way to draw attention from a waiter or a dog, or a nice way to accompany singing.

I’ve been practising for a while now, but failed to achieve any result. My fingers remain silent. The best I got were barely audible pats. But it took me a while to learn to snap my fingers as well when I was a kid like this one. My colleague B. in the video reassured me that I’m not the only hopeless wannabee Brazilian. Perhaps I’d better try my luck with football?


Signs of a Champion


Twenty Thousand Signs Under the Sea


  1. Mat

    British comedian Sacha Cohen often does this same snapping gesture when playing the character Ali G.

    The key, it seems, is to relax the index finger while holding the middle finger and thumb firmly together; then move your forearm rapidly downward. It took me a while to learn because I wasn’t relaxing my index finger enough. I get a better snap when I keep my wrist relatively firm (not loose).

    Its origins? Not sure, but a forum post suggests the following:

    “The [Ali G] finger-snap is a method used by hicks to pack the dip in their dip-cans. As an honorary hick-freak who growed-up in the backwoods of Vermont, i mastered that years ago, when i used to dip. I can still do it, though i haven’t dipped in years.”

    (From http://forum.gorillamask.net/archive/index.php/t-6739.html)

  2. Jeroen Arendsen

    Well I’ll be damned. Even the Queen Mother picked it up in a couple of minutes.

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