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Travel tips Australia: This is the secret Aussie sign language you must know if you’re visiting from overseas


A man has shared the “secret” sign language all Australians use and says foreigners should familiarize themselves with it before a trip to the West Indies.

Paulfrom Brisbane, is a comedian and audience specialist and goes by @bartsimpsonfan69 online.

He recently revealed all the ingrained Australian mannerisms that thousands of people expect others to know – like tilting your head up to nod when you see someone you know in public, but tilt it downward to nod when dealing with an acquaintance.

Paul listed several other situations in which people might use cultural gestures, such as seeing a friend while driving or letting someone into traffic.

“If you’re in a car and you greet someone, there are several levels – and they become more intense depending on how familiar you are,” he said.

Paul started simply with what you should do if you pass someone on the street.

“If you see someone on the street and you know them, you tilt your head slightly,” he said. “But if you see someone you don’t know as well, or if you know them from work or school, you tilt your head.”

Being in a car opens you up to a whole new world of Australian gestures, such as the ‘hand wave’.

A finger wave is when your hand is on the steering wheel but you only lift your index finger in a small wave.

“You do that when you’ve been driving for a while and you haven’t seen another car in ages – you wave ‘hello’ at them.”

Australians raise their whole hand in a wave when driving to thank people – usually for letting them into traffic or yielding the right of way.

It’s different when you raise your whole hand to make a real wave, reserved for thanking people.

“Usually if someone lets you in during traffic, you wave thanks,” Paul said.

He continued: “If you’re driving and you see a friend, you might wave at them, but ideally you’ll honk your horn. If it’s a close friend, you drive behind them, flash your lights, and honk your horn.

Paul then revealed some signs for saying goodbye.

“If you’re saying goodbye to someone and you’re in a car, you honk your horn twice,” he said.

“And if they’re not in a car, you give them a gun.”

What are some uniquely Australian gestures?

* Tilt your head up to nod when you see a friend

* Tilt your head down to nod when you see an acquaintance

* Waving when you see another car after an empty ride

* Raise your hand as a sign of thanks when someone lets you into traffic.

* Honk your horn when you see someone you know while driving

*Honk twice to say goodbye

Many agreed with Paul and thanked him for the comprehensive list.

“It’s so accurate,” one said.

“New Zealand also has the same rules! » » another added.

“It reminds me of when I was in an Uber in Costa Rica and the driver explained to me that there were three distinct types of horns,” one man recalled. “One is ‘thanks’, one is ‘I recognize someone on the street’ and one is ‘hey, I’m here buddy’.”

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