Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Wet finger in the air

If you don't know what it means, we are on the same side!

I was totally unaware of this idiom and the gesture until I started working in the UK. From the first day of my work here, I spotted people doing this strange gesture - they would wet their finger with their tongue and then hold it up in the air smack in the middle of a conversation. And no, the finger that was held up was not the middle finger; it was the index finger.

Apparently the 'wet finger in the air' is an idiom that has a convoluted reason behind it. I did discover the reason after a month - when someone wets their finger and holds it up, he/she is trying to gauge the direction of the wind flow at that moment. Once they have this piece of knowledge, they could align their decision along with the rest of the majority.

I wish I had realised this earlier as I had to do a lot of I-am-not-sure-what-you-are-doing-ewwww whenever I had seen anyone licking their finger and sticking it up in the air.

I guess, it's going to be one of the idioms that I know but will never use - just because of this and also because it fits into my do-away-with-clichés-wherever-I-can plan.

There - taught you something new today, didn't I?

6 comments:

Niths said...

The same thing happened with me at work! I didn't know what it meant but thought it was a particularly disgusting thing to do. Now I know what it signifies!

Girl With Big Eyes said...

My pleasure :)

Shanks_P said...

Just a news but tells what any IT- person go thru on their dail life ... http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/HealthSci/Loo_seats_cleaner_than_keyboards/articleshow/3001552.cms

Girl With Big Eyes said...

Read about this in the local newspaper here too.

Next someone does the 'wet finger in the air', I'll narrate this story! That might make them stop doing it :)

HeWhoRocks said...

Thank you for this... been puzzled and almost kind of disgusted, because no one uses this in the US! LOL.

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