Three fingers*, please

three fingersQuentin Tarantino’s film Inglourious Basterds taught us all the important lesson that the wrong hand signal could well get you killed (if you were pretending to be a Nazi in the wrong place and time).  In the film, someone gets gunned down because he uses the wrong hand signal for the number three.

A lot of people use the middle three fingers to denote the number three, though some use other combinations.  In the town in Germany mentioned in Inglourious Basterds, people use the thumb and first two fingers.  In China, many people use the last three fingers (similar to the A-OK hand signal).  I found myself using the latter yesterday when buying three bananas.  It used to feel wholly unnatural to me, but it suddenly doesn’t feel so weird any more.  Strange.

Which signal do you use for three?

*Out of interest, you can also use ‘finger’ as a measure of alcohol.  If you hold your finger horizontally against the bottom of the glass and fill it to the depth of the top of your finger, that’s ‘one finger’.  So, three fingers would be a pretty strong drink!