tocarse la nariz / touching your nose

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by Artajerjes, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. Artajerjes

    Artajerjes Senior Member

    SCZ- Bolivia
    I saw in some movies that touching your nose may mean something. Like yes (or something like that), and in China or Japan means "me" (or something like that)

    What does it mean?
    It has another meaning by every country?
    Is there any other forms of talking by touching your nose?

    Thanks in advance

    ¿Que significa tocarse la nariz en sus paises o zonas? ¿Significa "si", significa "yo"? ¿Y si me la toco seguido?
  2. Zsanna

    Zsanna ModErrata

    Hungarian - Hungary
    I suppose it means different things in different countries...! Especially depending on which part of the nose you touch...

    In Hungary, touching one's own nose (the tip) does not mean anything in particular (unless something like "Let me think!").
    However, adult relatives (mainly) may touch (very gently) the nose of kids (the tip again) to indicate something like (very difficult to define): "Tut, tut!" "Look who's talking!" "You are too small to know that/ to speak/ etc.!" or simply "No!"
  3. palomnik Senior Member

    It's interesting to note that in American Sign Language gestures involving touching the nose are often obscene.
  4. avok

    avok Banned

    It does not mean anything here in Turkey and the Japanese point to their noses rather than touching them to mean something like "Me?"

    ex: avok: Yoko are you there?
    yoko: (Points to her nose) . Me??
  5. K-Milla

    K-Milla Senior Member

    I can't remember a "meaning" of it except of that maybe your nose is "dirty". I do have seen in some films that it could be as a "yes".
  6. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    In the film "The Sting" Paul Newman, Robert Redford & company used it as a sign for something like "OK, I've noticed you, everything is under control". They touched the side of the nose.
  7. gotitadeleche Senior Member

    Texas, U.S.A.
    U.S.A. English
    Some people in the US tap the side of their nose to indicate they are sharing a secret.
  8. JazzByChas

    JazzByChas Senior Member

    Houston, TX USA
    American English
    The only thing I have ever heard of in this regard is, when one touches ones nose in response to something someone else said, it means that "you hit the nail on the head" (you got the point of what I said)
  9. Artajerjes

    Artajerjes Senior Member

    SCZ- Bolivia
    I agree with everything you people said (well, at least, every explication sound logic or familiar to me). Thanks!:)

    May His kingdoom come!
  10. EmilyD Senior Member

    Rhode Island
    U.S., English
    There was a sign in ASL for "boring" that entailed a finger (pointer finger?) on the side of the nose...

    American Sign Language has, of course, many origins, but is largely from the French...

    Best wishes to all,

  11. Paulfromitaly

    Paulfromitaly MODerator

    Brescia (Italy)
    In Italy if I touched my nose folks would either think I'm picking it or it's itching.
    Oh yes: they might also think I have just had a snort..
  12. Chaska Ñawi

    Chaska Ñawi modus borealis

    an old Ontario farmhouse
    Canadian English
    A gesture we used a lot when we were children, but which I haven't seen in years, consisted of putting the tip of your thumb against the tip of your nose and then waggling your fingers. It was a way of taunting somebody, often accompanied by "Nya nya nya NYA nya!"

    I believe that Gotitadeleche's comment also applies to southern France.
  13. Guachipem

    Guachipem Senior Member

    Ammán, Jordan
    Spanish - Canary Islands
    In Spain it means that you are not going to do anything. For example, if someone ask you: "what are you going to do tomorrow?", you can indicate you are not going to do anything touching your nose.
  14. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep Member

    England, English
    It is used in the UK to mean, 'Mind your own business, this has nothing to do with you." The tip of the nose is tapped about 4 times with the index finger.
  15. gotitadeleche Senior Member

    Texas, U.S.A.
    U.S.A. English
    Oh yes, I forgot about that one. We do that here in the States also, though I don't see it much either.
  16. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    This gesture was common in Finland, too, at least it was some half a century ago. Kids often sung along: "noita-akka, puuterinokka, sata vuotta vanha!" (witch woman, powdered nose, a hundred years old).
  17. K-Milla

    K-Milla Senior Member

    In Mexico too, but I can't remember if I used to say and do that... [good question]

    Wow! Funny thing. I guess I should be careful with this one when I'm near to an Englishman/woman.
  18. hapax Member

    España, español
    I've also seen it for two more meanings in Spain,

    When talking about someone you touche your nose it means that that person consumes cocaine.

    And also, when you pass someone who smells bad, you touche your nose to tell your friend (for example) in a discreet way. It's like "wow! that man smells really bad!"
  19. danielfranco

    danielfranco Senior Member

    Here in Texas we mainly touch the inside of our nose with our index finger in times of tissue-deprivation. Other than that, we only touch the outside of our nose as a homage to Robert Redford, who's still a disturbingly handsome man, no matter he is roughly one hundred and twelve years old.
    By the way, in the movie "The Sting", it means "it's gonna be okay".

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