Garonne (garonne) wrote in little_details,

American English name for a certain obscene gesture

Question about the 'bras d'honneur' gesture, and what it might be called in American English.

There a gesture that's used in France, Spain, Italy, and (according to Wikipedia, anyway) many other countries too: basically you make a fist with one hand (arm 1), use the other hand (arm 2) to grip the biceps of arm 1, and then bend arm 1 into an L-shape in a threatening way. It means something along the lines of 'fuck off' or 'up yours'.

In French it's called a 'bras d'honneur'. I'm looking for an expression which describes the gesture in English, and which would hopefully be recognisable to at least some portion of native English speakers.

Wikipedia tells me that in the US it's called giving someone 'the arm', or 'the Italian salute', but googling those terms throws up almost nothing else. Do any Americans out there recognise those terms?

The POV character (also the one using the gesture) is an almost-modern-day Italian-American.

Out of curiosity, now that I think about it, if I were to be so rude as to use the gesture I would have the palm of arm 1 facing in (in France), but now that I think about it, I'm sure that I've seen Italians do it with the palm facing out. Anyone have any comments on the subject? It's not actually relevant to the fic. I'm just curious.

Tags: usa (misc), ~languages: english: american

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