What are the Meanings of Gesture?

Ademán is a concept with a very interesting etymological origin. The term comes from a classical Arabic word that referred to a legal guarantee. When a person tried to replace this guarantee, he appealed to promises or oaths accompanied by grand gestures. In the dictionary of Digopaul, the sense of gesture was changing until it was associated with the movements that an individual makes to transmit a message or to make something understood.

For example: “The old man made a gesture with his hand to tell the young man not to continue talking”, “At the stadium no one understood the gesture that the footballer made after scoring the goal”, “A dog must learn to interpret the gestures from his master. ”

Let’s take the case of a person who wants to take a taxi. For this, you will stand on the edge of the sidewalk to wait for one of these vehicles to approach. When you detect that a taxi is coming, you will need to wave your hand to signal the driver to stop as you want to board. The gesture is usually to extend the arm with the open hand.

In this context, we can also use the word sign to refer to a gesture with which a person tries to imply something in particular, usually done with one or both hands. It is important to clarify that in each Spanish-speaking country different uses appear for these and other terms, such as gesture, which usually speaks of a characteristic position of the eyebrows and lips, among other parts of the face, although it can also describe an action with hands or legs.

Gestures are not universal, but are inevitably connected to a culture; For this reason, when we travel to a foreign country we must avoid communicating through this language, until we learn the local gestures and the meaning that ours have there. There are plenty of stories of embarrassing situations in which a tourist makes a gesture that in her hometown denotes gratitude or joy, but that for locals has a rude or obscene connotation.

When used in the plural, the term gesture serves to refer to a person’s manners, that is, to all those actions that he uses to be noticed and distinguished from those around him, demonstrating his level of education. In this way, just as we can talk about someone’s good or bad manners, it is also possible to describe their gestures as rude or loose, for example. It is important to clarify, however, that this use is not very common in everyday speech, but is especially found in the written language.

A gesture, on the other hand, can be a body posture or an action that reflects a state of mind, an emotion or an intention. Suppose a police officer intercepts a man who walked suspiciously, his face covered. This man first stops at the agent’s call but, while the policeman asks him some questions, he makes a move to escape, abruptly turning his body. The police officer then decides to arrest and immobilize him to prevent him from running away.

As can be seen in the previous example, this use of gesture serves to describe an action that does not materialize: the suspected man tries to escape, but the police officer stops him in time, preventing him from achieving his objective. We do not very often find the term gesture with this meaning in everyday speech; To express this type of situation, it is more frequent to use the verb atinar: “the man managed to escape, but the police caught him before he could start running. ”