Stop Sign

It’s post-holiday winter. It just snowed. You’re walking in town and a friend sees you from a distance. They’re real happy, because you’ve missed their calls and texts. They start to run over to you, but WAIT! There’s a thick sheet of ice in front of you, which is sure to put a frozen damper on their day. There’s no time to shout at them and they need a visual to halt immediately.

stop sign

You’ve done it. They’ve stopped dead in their tracks and avoided a slippery step right to the emergency room. They got hit by oncoming traffic, but that’s neither here nor there.

Stop Sign

Indeed, sticking one’s open palm out is the predecessor to the bossiest red octagon around. It’s a quick way to tell somebody to halt, stay at a distance, or even stop talking. Additionally, this gesture can be used to indicate that somebody should wait or hold on.

~Who Hands It~

  • Crossing-guards that forget their signs
  • Police officers directing traffic
  • Musicians trying to emphasize part of a song
  • Fed-up girlfriendsStop2
  • Bouncers

~When to Hand It~

Stopping a child from running in the house.

Saving a friend’s life from slipping on ice.

Sneaking around with more than one person, but hearing a noise.

~Around the World~

In Iraq, this sign does not mean stop, it’s actually a welcoming gesture.

~Hand It Challenge~

  1. Sing this entire song while you hand the Stop Sign

“Talk to the Hand”

The Stop Sign also has a signal relative with the gesture for “talk to the hand.” Like all great things, this gesture originated and (almost certainly) died in the 90s. One would hold our their palm, sassily look away, and say the phrase “talk to the hand cuz the face ain’t listenin.”  Through continued use, the phrase was shortened to “talk to the hand” and one could also Hand It without saying the phrase at all.

~Who Hands It~

  • Crossing-guards getting yelled at by their girlfriends.
  • Police officers getting blamed for traffic.
  • The Terminator

Talk to the Hand

~When to Hand It~

As a response to anything that you don’t want to hear anymore. Such as:

“And you’re fat. And lazy. And you don’t take out the trash. And I fell taking the trash out. Do you understand how bad this bruise hurts? This is all your damn fault.”

“Do you understand me? Are you even listening at all? This is very, very serious Joe I can’t feel my-”

~Around the World~

In Spanish, this gesture is “Habla con la Mano.”

In German, it’s called “Sprechen sie mit der Hand.”

~Hand It Challenge~

  1. If you’re in a situation with a very long-winded talker or annoyingly-selfish person going on and on and on about the life, liberties, and pursuit of happiness of their pet salamander, Hand the “Talk to the Hand” to them and say “Habla con la Mano cuz the face ain’t listening”
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