“Hand gestures are to Italian conversation what punctuation is to writing. Hands become exclamation points, periods, commas, question marks. Italian gestures are a huge part of what makes an Italian, well, an ITALIAN! Says Dianne Hales in her book LA BELLA LINGUA”.
Here are three of our favorite Italian gestures, and what they mean:
1) The “Spaghetatta gesture”: with your index and middle finger imitate a fork picking up spaghetti; your elbow should face sidewards. It is used when you’re hungry and really crave spaghetti.
2) The “Pinecone hand” gesture: gather your fingertips to one imaginary point making sure to keep your fingers stretched out. It is used when you’re sarcastically questioning a friend’s sanity or when someone says something a bit silly
3) The “If I catch you” gesture: for this gesture, teeth are chomped into a handheld horizontally at head height. The bitten hand is then used to make a chopping gesture in the air. It stands for: If I catch you you’re in deep trouble. Mothers use it with restless kids making too much noise.