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What do you say and how do you use body languages or gestures in the following situations?

When you

1) call a taxi

2) call a waiter/waitress

3) show you think something/someone is crazy

4) indicate number

5) show that there is a phone call

6) show that you want a drink

7) show you don't mind



1) call a taxi - I find an open section of sidewalk and face oncoming traffic, raise my hand high above my head and yell "TAXI!" if I see a taxi with the little light on the top of his car on. That means that he's working and doesn't have anybody in the car.

2) call a waiter/waitress - I typically try not to "call" a waiter or waitress. In the USA, they will come to you. But if you HAVE to call them for something important and you can't wait. Typically I just wait until they come into view and I make eye contact with them. Sometimes I just nod my head or slightly lift my hand and smile. They will know I need something.

3) show you think something/someone is crazy - That depends. If it is a friend I tell them "You're CRAZY!" and laugh. If it is a crazy person I do not know, I just try to get away or end the conversation. No one wants to talk to a crazy person.

4) indicate number- I do not know what you mean here. If you mean a number of people, you can count on your fingers and show them in the air. But I would need more explaination on this one.

5) show that there is a phone call - If someone is speaking to me and I am on the phone I will hold up a single finger to tell them to wait a second and show them the phone that may be hidden in my ear. Or if I have to show someone across the way that there is a phone call you can make a "phone" with your small figer and your thumb and hold it up to your mouth/ear to mimick holding a phone.

6) show that you want a drink- I don't often have to SHOW someone I want a drink. I would tell someone I wanted a drink but the symbol that is widely accepted would be miming holding a drinking glass and lifting it to your lips.

7) show you don't mind- Usually a swipe of the hand will do. Up and down or left to right, it doesn't matter. Just basically "swat" the idea out of the way that it was any problem for you.

Thank you Jessica. The gestures or body languages you use in your country in the above situations are basically the same as those in my country.


As for 4) indicate number -- In China, if you want to tell someone an Arabic figure, you use one to five fingers to show Number one to Number five, use your thumb and your little finger to show Number six with the other three fingers curved towards your palm, put your five fingers of one hand together to indicate Number seven, use your forefinger and curve it strongly towards your palm to indicate Number nine, and put your two forefingers cross to indicate Number ten. How do you indicate Arabic numbers by using gestures in your country?



1. raising my hand with a thumb up


2 . look at the waiter eyes to eyes and forming a rectangle using my finger to indicate i need a menu or bill


3. rolling my pointing finger beside my head


4  i just write the number


5. i will just show my phone


6. i usually make a fake cough and touching my throat with a facial expression that its hot and im thirsty.. 


7. with a blank face as if i never heard anything

I would have thought that raising one's hand with a thumb up only used by a hitchhiker. Thank you Doris.  Thank you Matt, too. 

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