Italian and clichès

It's rather funny how, in Italy, people don't realise they do the hand thingy when they talk. You know what I'm talking about, that typical hand gesture where you pinch all five fingers upwards and move your hand up and down. Universally known as "food", it took me years before understanding every one else did it to mock Italians.

In every movie and TV show when someone is speaking Italian they are automatically doing the "wtf" hand gesture and sound like they are from the South. 

You heard me

That pine cone movement means "what the f***" in Italian. Now you understand why the whole sentence ends up looking and sounding very harsh. Being intimidating is a definition that is usually never applied for an Italian exchange of information or opinions. Colorful and deaf-friendly, possibly, but surely not angry. Truth is: we use our hands so much while talking that we don't focus on that single gesture. When did this become the official "I'm speaking Italian" gesture? 

One of my favourite games to play when I'm abroad is 'Spot the Italian'. I'm very good at it and before you even say it, not just because I hear Italian being spoken. I see them talking! For example, in London, whenever two people are talking on the street and one of them starts gesturing one second before opening his mouth, there's a good chance he is Italian. In Melbourne almost every bearded waiter trying to lure customers inside the restaurant is Italian. I know Lygon Street is the Italian area of the city, what can I say? Sometimes I like to win easy! 

Mind you, Italians are not the only ones doing so. I know for a fact that in France they have a whole set of spit-sounds accompanied by facial expressions and gestures. I'll come clear: we might be loud and disorganised, but we are unbeatable at Charades!

Images: via

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