Submit your own Neatorama post and vote for others' posts to earn NeatoPoints that you can redeem for T-shirts, hoodies and more over at the NeatoShop!

The Sign of the Horns

Since Alfred Hitchcock was not an American college student or a baseball player, we can assume that when he posed for this studio photograph he was making the "sign of the horns" to ward off evil or bad luck.

The gesture has a long and complex history, undoubtedly originating as a manual representation of the Devil's horns; Bram Stoker referred to it in his novel Dracula:
When we started, the crowd round the inn door, which had by this time swelled to a considerable size, all made the sign of the cross and pointed two fingers towards me. With some difficulty I got a fellow-passenger to tell me what they meant; he would not answer at first, but on learning that I was English, he explained that it was a charm or guard against the evil eye.

It has subsequently been co-opted by musicians, athletes, politicians, and celebrities for a variety of purposes and meanings.  Students at several universities use the sign in support of their team.  In baseball and football it can mean "two outs" or "second down."  It is even reportedly an unofficial sign for "B.S." (as the horns of a bull) in American sign language!

Photo via Old Hollywood.

In Mediterranean countries, the sign of the horns is a warning to a man that his wife is cuckolding him. The sign is called 'cornuto' or 'cornudo' depending on the country...
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I'll confirm the sign language claim, although it's just part of the sign. Try to follow me on this explanation...

Put one arm on top of the other (almost like folding your arms, but don't tuck your hands, and hold your arms slightly away from you).
With the arm on top, make the sign of the horns.
With the arm on bottom, make a fist.
The "B.S." is made by expanding that fist on bottom out into an explosive fashion (but keeping your arms together)... much like if a B was going to S... albeit explosively. ;)
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
The reason metalheads use it is because Ronnie James Dio wanted something he could do at his concerts, the way Ozzy used the peace sign. He borrowed the "corna" sign from his Italian grandma.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.
Click here to access all of this post's 11 comments

Email This Post to a Friend
"The Sign of the Horns"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More