Secret Hand Language for Doctor Who Fans
Do you ever see people making hand gestures on the street and find yourself wondering what the heck they mean? This happens to me all the time. I'm so out of the loop!
Thankfully, two can play at the obscure hand language game!! We can make our own secret hand language and chortle sardonically when others wonder in vain about their hidden meanings.
Because I am a Doctor Who fan, I thought it might be fun to create an informal set of gestures inspired by the show. There's a good mix in this set: one of the gestures is very generic, another is specific, another is insulting, and two indicate coolness.
If you want to add some variety to your present evoked set of hand gestures (and like Doctor Who), I recommend taking one (or more) of these for a spin!
The Sonic Screwdriver
The single and most distinct gesture that all Doctors make involves that telltale brandishing of a sonic screwdriver. It is therefore imperative that any collection of Doctor Who hand gestures utilize this classic move.
Because the sonic screwdriver is used all the time and in all sorts of situations, a gesture imitating its use would be best associated with a very broad meaning. I'm classifying it as a generic, catch-all gesture that could be used as an equivalent to:
- Twiddling thumbs
- Holding one's hand to one's brow (to gaze out into the distance)
- Awkward turtle
- The "here's looking at you, kid" nod or point
To replicate this gesture, point with your index and middle finger in a sweeping gesture while looking focused. If you want to be super cool, do this with an actual (or sonic) screwdriver in your hand in place of the two pointing fingers (a pen, stick, or phone would also work).
The Weeping Angel
Another classic posture found within the Doctor Who universe is that of the Weeping Angel. Certainly few Doctor Who fans can help but widen their eyes upon being presented with someone (especially someone made of stone) assuming this particular position.
Of course the first words that come into one's head when seeing this gesture, which I refer to as the Weeping Angel, are "DON'T BLINK!" so that's what it means! One might consider it to be an approximation of the "keep your eyes peeled" gesture.
Outside-the-loopers might misinterpret this gesture for its mundane equivalent "I'm not looking," but as Doctor Who fans, we understand each other. We'll totally know what you mean when you use this one.
The Dalek can take the place of the...
- Five feathers
- The chin flick
- Pepper mill
- Fishy smell
... and any other rude gesture you can think of!
Any set of hand gestures would be incomplete without at least one rude gesture, and I'll call our rude Doctor Who gesture the Dalek.
To replicate this gesture, hold your elbows close to your torso and stick out your forearms and two pointing fingers with each hand to approximate a Dalek's telescopic manipulator arm and energy weapon.
You may wonder if a rude gesture has value if nobody understands what the gesture means. I have three responses for you:
- You spend most of your time interfacing with those who are close to you (which is to say, your friends and family), so chances are they'll also be in the Doctor Who loop and will know exactly what you mean.
- A gesture alone does not communicate hatred and disrespect; what matters is the manner in which this gesture is delivered. So long as you give people the Dalek with a proper serving of xenophobic abhorrence, you can rest assured that the message will come across.
- Maybe it's better that people not know that you're insulting them. By using the Dalek, you get the benefit of expressing your feelings while also maintaining physical safety.
The Eleventh Doctor is my personal favorite, and also particularly good at tossing out catchphrases and little gestures that people are more than happy to spread. One of those catchphrases is, of course, "Fezzes are cool!"
Now, it may be the case that The Doctor is the only person who sees fezzes as cool accessories (River Song? Not a fan.), so the gesture I refer to as The Fez could be given to indicate obscure coolness.
You may, for example, use this gesture when someone is going on about how fantastic My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is. It might be a cool show, but at least amongst adult audiences, it's a bit on the obscure side.
The Bow Tie
Another catchphrase of the Eleventh Doctor is "bow ties are cool" and on this front, the opinion is (so far as I'm concerned) nearly unanimous. Bow ties ARE cool, especially after they are endorsed by The Doctor (and Science Cat).
I therefore recommend flashing the Bow Tie to indicate acknowledgement of something extremely and undeniably cool. This Doctor Who gesture may also be used in poses- I think it's an especially pose-worthy bit of hand-signage. Don't you?
Which gesture is your favorite?
While these hand gestures would be best presented within a group of friends that shares a love of Doctor Who, I think they can be enjoyed pretty much anywhere. Use them in good health!
At any rate, do you have a favorite? Better yet, do you have an idea for an additional Doctor-Who hand gesture? Perhaps something Ood-related to indicate benign creepiness, or maybe the four-beat-rhythmic-drumming of fingers to indicate impending conflict? Share your ideas in the comments below!