A Dictionary of Gestures by Betty J. and Franz H. Bauml

An excerpt from the book A Dictionary of Gestures by Betty J. and Franz H. Bauml about body language and non-verbal communication.

A Review of Recent Books--Letting Them Speak for Themselves

A DICTIONARY OF GESTURES by Betty J. Bauml and Franz H. Bauml. Metuchen, N.J.: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1975.

About the Book: A gold mine for anyone who wants to become an expert on body language. Material is based on 500 reference sources, and a host of cultures and historic periods are represented. The book is arranged by body part (abdomen to tooth) with a "message" index.

From the Book:

ABDOMEN Anger: Standing up, pushing out abdomen. If the adversary is small, he may be pushed with the abdomen. (Portugal)

BUTTOCKS Insult: "Each morning, last January, an entire platoon of Chinese soldiers would march out on the ice, lower their trousers, and aim their buttocks toward the Soviet side of the border. This is the ultimate Chinese insult." (Esquire, Jan., 1968)

CHIN/HAND Silence: Gently grazing chin of another person with right fist: admonition not to argue. (Saudi Arabia, Syria)

EAR/HAND Memory: In general the pulling of the ear, or slapping of someone's ear, is ancient Germanic, and still in the 18th century boys' ears were pulled or slapped on important occasions so that they might always remember what they witnessed.

ELBOW/FINGER Foolishness: Fingertips of one hand joined and held at elbow of the other arm, fingertips of the other hand also joined, hand waving back and forth. (Southern Italy)

EYE Approval: Winking eye. Usually performed by men. (U.S., Colombia)

EYEBROW Flirting: Eyebrows moving up and down rapidly. (Lebanon, Saudi Arabia)

FINGER/TONGUE Greeting: Customary Tibetan greeting to a fellow traveller: thrusting up thumb of right hand and thrusting out tongue.

FINGER/TOOTH Warning: To indicate to another driver that a traffic policeman is following, one may bite the ends of the three middle fingers. (Mexico)

FOOT Greeting: The Japanese remove a slipper when they salute ceremoniously. Islanders in the Philippine archipelago take a person's hand or foot and rub it over their face as greeting.

HAND Disapproval: Shaking the collar or coat lapel with the right hand. (Near East)

TOOTH Greeting: Cutting oneself with shark's teeth and wailing as a form of receiving a friend or showing joy at his arrival. (Tahiti)

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