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Nixon, Richard - Oops
When Nixon was president he took a trip to Australia and as he step out of the plan he made a peace sign to signify peace with Australia, but what he didn't know was that in Australia our peace sign is as bad as the middle finger is in America.
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Special Requirements: An old newspaper, an encyclopedia or your dad
Contributed By: on 04-16-2000 and Reviewed By: Webmaster
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DigYerOwnHole writes:
Just for the record.... The "Two Fingered Salute" meaning "F**k Off" originated from the war between the French and English. The French were fearful of our talented archers and anyone they captured had their index and middle finger cutoff so that they could no longer fire a longbow. The English would stick these two fingers up at any French armies within sight as a taunt... Cheers
98 of 103 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
orion writes:
Some confusion here. The peace sign, palm forward and two fingers up, is NOT rude in Australia. The insulting hand gesture which basically means 'Up Yours' is the other way round, with your palm facing your body (so that the finger nails of the two fingers sticking up are facing outwards and the back of your hand is facing the target person). This gesture is not just found in Australia - in fact it is of British origin. I don't know how Nixon did it, but the real peace or victory symbol is the other way round to the old British gesture meaning 'Up Yours'. Maybe Nixon was doing it the wrong way round, resulting in the supposed slip-up.
88 of 94 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
TK writes:
Maybe the UN should develop a set of universal obscene gestures to eliminate confusion.
45 of 54 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
squijee writes:
I'm from Australia and I can tell you right here and now that no-one in Australia could give a stuff which way Nixon held his hand. We knew what he meant.
25 of 27 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
AussieGirl writes:
orion is correct - the peace sign done backwards is definitely an insulting gesture, akin to the one finger version. However, Brigee, I'm from Melbourne Australia, and I don't know of anyone who considers Thumbs Up an insult. And as for Phil's comment, I think ANY gesture accompanied by a raspberry sound would be insulting.
25 of 28 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
sugarmagnolia writes:
Next I suppose you'll be telling us Foster's isn't Australian for beer? ;-)
34 of 48 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Bluebrit writes:
As a British person who also lived in Australia for several years, I can say with certainty that Mr. Nixon DID NOT give the 'up yours' sign. If his palm had been facing him when he did it then it would have been the bird but if you do it with the palm facing out, it means peace.
14 of 16 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Matthew writes:
Your father's friend is indulging in another traditional Australian pastime - having fun at the expense of Americans. The thumbs up symbol means the same as it does in the US.
14 of 18 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
RonJLow writes:
So it surprises me that Winston Churchill would have used this gesture which is so close to something vulgar.
8 of 9 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
dragonin writes:
peace ... and i always wondered why they never smiled.... lol
8 of 13 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
@ssKicker writes:
Margaret Thatcher once tried to do the 'V' sign for Victory, which is much like the American 'peace' sign. But she got it the wrong way round, and nobody wanted to tell her(you know why!)
7 of 11 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
SpEcIeS-UnKnOwN? writes:
I am an Australian and can say that not even an Australian priest would take offense to 'two thumbs up' at all. Do it yourself (at the risk of looking like a di**head). I will also clear something up for everyone NOT in Australia: 1. We don't say 'G'day mate!!' 2. We REALLY DON'T say G'day mate!! 3. We DON'T 'throw shrimps on the barbie' Actually, I can't say I've ever SEEN a barbecued shrimp. And 3. Nobody down here 'cracks a tinnie'. Thank you for reading.
19 of 35 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Dweezil writes:
George Bush did this once too.
8 of 17 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
D_D writes:
For your information, a raspberry sound is derived from Cockney rhyming slang - raspberry tart > fart. The origins of the abusive two-finger gesture aren't as clear-cut as has been suggested either - another inference is the cuckold's horns. There are several other explanations. A thumbs-up gesture with a loosely held hand rather than a tight fist can certainly be misconstrued in the UK, suggesting a male solitary sexual pass-time. Perhaps this is where the confusion has arisen.
2 of 6 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Tobideru writes:
DigYerOwnHole's "explanation" is nothing more than a well-known urban legend -- one which, most likely, originated as a ridiculously unfunny joke. For a thorough debunking, check out
5 of 13 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Phillie writes:
Actually the backwards peace sign would be the equivalent to the middle finger in the United States.
5 of 13 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Phil writes:
Palm away from them, index and middle finger up, with an upwards motion in the wrist, and often accompanied by a raspberry sound is insulting.
5 of 15 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
Brigee writes:
My father has a friend who is Australian. He visted last summer and told me that the "thumbs up" symbol means "up yours".
6 of 18 found this helpful. Did you? Yes
3kat3 writes:
what's a "raspberry" sound??
5 of 17 found this helpful. Did you? Yes

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