Gesture Dictionary – M to Q

Journal of Linguistic Anthropology Number 14 Issue 2

A Repertoire of South African Quotable Gestures
Heather Brookes


Gesture Dictionary
A B
C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

okay {positive} moja (Is) Thumb points upwards, rest of hand in fist shape.

Open the door Bula monyako (S) Hand held out as if grasping the handle of a door and pulled towards gesturer.

over there ka daar (Is) Hand makes arc.

pay gaafa (Is) Flat hand is drawn along upturned palm of other hand at least twice. Fingers point to the front and the movement is outwards away from the gesturer.

penis (Small penis) Pipi e nyane (S) Thumb and first finger of one hand hold the little finger of the other hand near the tip. Alternatively, a curled little finger is moved up and down.

perfect Nca (Is) Tips of first finger and thumb held together placed on lips and then moved outwards as lips make kissing action.

phone/telephone bela (Is) Fist with thumb extended upwards and fourth finger extended downwards held at side of head.

photograph/camera shoota/khemera (S) Hands as if holding a camera with first finger curved and moved up and down.
pregnant (She’s pregnant) O spati (Is) One hand, slighly curved, traces a curve in front of the stomach from top to bottom.

quiet (Be quiet) Thula (Z) First finger is placed against lips.

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