The V sign is one of the most common hand gestures. It is done by raising and parting the first and second fingers are, while clenching the remaining fingers. Winston Churchill made the sign popular during the second world war where it signified “Victory” (for V as in victory). The palm can face inwards or outwards which can alter the meaning. This article examines what the V-sign with palm facing outward from the speaker means in different countries:
Australia – ”Two beers please” or ”peace man” or even ”victory”.
Canada – Peace.
China – ”I am in the process of having my photograph taken, so I must make this V-sign for some reason”, the same as most places in East Asia.
France – Two.
Germany – Peace (rarely used).
Greece – Peace.
Ireland – Peace man.
Italy – Peace, victory.
Japan – Common sign used that is intended to portray an acceptable level of cuteness when posing for photographs.
New Zealand – Peace sign. People do it to each other mostly if they know them and if it is a common gesture between friends.
Russia – Many people would understand this as ”victory” (because of western films etc), but they don’t use this sign.
Spain – Victory, achievement.
Sweden – Peace.
Turkey – Not used.
United Kingdom – Peace man.
USA – Peace. The outward-facing-palm posture associates more with as something a hippie would do.
Please note that meaning of gestures varies among various parts of countries and also among cultural groups and between generations.