snapping / flicking two parallel fingers together

Karlaina

Senior Member
English, United States
Greetings!

In Central America (and probably other places), people make a snapping noise by smacking their index fingers on their thumbs and middle fingers which are pressed together.

How can I express the difference between the two different types of snapping?

Thanks! :)
 
  • Terry Mount

    Senior Member
    U S A
    In U.S., we snap our fingers mainly by pressing the end of the thumb against the end of the middle finger with a good bit of force and then popping them apart. It's all done in one quick motion. If done with right hand: thumb moves clockwise off the tip of the middle finger and the middle finger snaps down.
     

    fenixpollo

    moderator
    American English
    Your question is confusing. Are you trying to translate the word snap? If that is your question, you can find the answer in our dictionary.

    It seems like you might be asking a cultural question, or perhaps an anthropological one, about how humans in different regions produce a snapping sound with their fingers. If you are, the question is not clear because you ask about different methods for snapping, but you only list one method.

    If your your question is about snapping techniques, then I'm afraid that we can't help you: this is a dictionary forum, where we translate words and phrases. Questions about culture or anthropology are outside our scope.
     

    Karlaina

    Senior Member
    English, United States
    Sorry I wasn't clear. :eek:

    I'm wondering if the Central American variety of snapping that I described is actually called "snapping" or if there is a different term used to describe it - a way to differentiate between North and Central American snapping. Does that make sense?

    For example,
    Q: "Can you snap (N. Am.) your fingers?"
    A: "No, but I can __________." What would go in the blank if I wanted to say that I can make a snapping noise with my fingers using the Central American method?
     

    didakticos

    Senior Member
    Español de Costa Rica (y de otras partes también)
    Sorry I wasn't clear. :eek:

    I'm wondering if the Central American variety of snapping that I described is actually called "snapping" or if there is a different term used to describe it - a way to differentiate between North and Central American snapping. Does that make sense?

    For example,
    Q: "Can you snap (N. Am.) your fingers?"
    A: "No, but I can __________." What would go in the blank if I wanted to say that I can make a snapping noise with my fingers using the Central American method?
    I understand your question because I know what are you talking about. I am originally from Costa Rica and we use that gesture in my country. I am afraid that we haven't coined a term for that, or if there were one, I haven't heard it yet.

    Here is a better explanation (I think), but it is in English: Latin people also snap their fingers a lot, but not like we do it here in the states. They do the following. They place the tips of their thumb and middle finger together firmly, with the index finger relaxed they shake their hand up and down. As the relaxed index finger hits you middle finger a snapping sound is created. The Latin people do this when they are happy and excited, when they have burned themselves slightly, and even when they laugh. http://www.mission.net/honduras/san-pedro-sula/page.php?pg_id=1569

    Good luck!

    NOTE: I talked with a friend from Costa Rica and he said that we use the same verb for that action as snap: chasquear los dedos. So, you will have the traditional snap and also the Central American snap. Sorry!
     
    Last edited:

    elirlandes

    Senior Member
    Ireland English
    Sorry I wasn't clear. :eek:

    I'm wondering if the Central American variety of snapping that I described is actually called "snapping" or if there is a different term used to describe it - a way to differentiate between North and Central American snapping. Does that make sense?

    For example,
    Q: "Can you snap (N. Am.) your fingers?"
    A: "No, but I can __________." What would go in the blank if I wanted to say that I can make a snapping noise with my fingers using the Central American method?

    The standard North American thing yuo describe is called "clicking your fingers" in BE? Could this be the case in AE as well? If that is the case, then the other version (which I now recognise from Didakticos's excellent explanation is definitely a "snap" and not a "click".

    Latin people also snap their fingers a lot, but not like we do it here in the states. They do the following. They place the tips of their thumb and middle finger together firmly, with the index finger relaxed they shake their hand up and down. As the relaxed index finger hits you middle finger a snapping sound is created. The Latin people do this when they are happy and excited, when they have burned themselves slightly, and even when they laugh. http://www.mission.net/honduras/san-pedro-sula/page.php?pg_id=1569

    Good luck!
     
    Top