One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A sign made with the first two fingers pointing up in a V-shape, with the palm of the hand facing outward, used as a symbol or gesture of victory or peace.
- ‘‘It will depend on a jury whether I am found guilty and whether someone should be jailed for telling the truth,’ he said, after giving a Churchillian V-sign to the crowd.’
- ‘He sent a handful of diehard fans into a frenzy when he briefly appeared at his fourth floor hospital window, flashing his signature V-sign and waving a teddy bear his admirers say they had given him.’
- ‘A Japanese girl in a Hello Kitty shirt stood beside me making a V-sign while her friend took a snap with her mobile phone.’
- ‘He gave his famous V-sign to the cheering crowds who swarmed about his car.’
- ‘He smiled and waved to reporters and fans and flashed a V-sign as he left the Santa Barbara County Jail in a black Suburban escorted by three sheriff's motorcycle officers.’
- ‘The ailing leader raised his hand to make a V-sign and moved it to the rhythm of the chants before speeding away in a black Mercedes, accompanied by security guards with raised assault rifles.’
2British A sign made with the first two fingers pointing up in a V-shape, with the back of the hand facing outward, used as a gesture of abuse or contempt.
- ‘She said that although he had made V-signs and muttered swear-words, police had not warned him about his conduct in court before his arrest.’
- ‘The judge dismissed assault allegations by both parties - during the case Mr McCullagh claimed Mr Wilson had ‘lunged at him with a chainsaw’ and flicked a V-sign at him.’
- ‘It was the same day his face was plastered over every front page for giving journalists a supposed surreptitious V-sign outside Number 10.’
- ‘What really makes his temperature hit boiling point is rude motorists - the type who beep or flash a V-sign just because it took you more than a quarter of a second to register the traffic lights had turned to green.’
- ‘Imbued with triumphant adrenaline, he flicked a V-sign at the pole vault bar.’
- ‘Actually it was a giant V-sign flicked at the world.’
- ‘However, all she met was a gang of Neds chanting ‘Save Oor Buckie’ and making V-signs for the cameras.’
- ‘Walking off the field - directly in front of the Parkhead press box, not that there is any blind spot from the media at an Old Firm match - he flicked a V-sign at the Celtic supporters.’
- ‘They just will not slow down, sometimes I try waving at them but they just give the V-sign back.’
- ‘Even David Beckham's foul and his V-sign will never die.’
- ‘That seems to be the two-fingered V-sign message to anyone who invested in Railtrack and has now been well-and-truly burned.’
- ‘He told a story about an old gent making a V-sign at him in his car.’
- ‘What a long time ago it seems that David Bradley's Billy was on the Kes posters and paperback covers, flicking us a good old-fashioned British V-sign.’
- ‘If the media really think that voters are going to be angered by a bloke waving a V-sign at a mocking crowd of photographers and journos they are kidding themselves big time.’
- ‘What is worrying is that the V-sign is such an outdated insult.’
- ‘Rather than seeing himself as a descendant of a long line of respected Irish playwrights, he claims his influences are film directors and V-sign flicking punks.’
- ‘And despite his best efforts to evade the camera, his face was caught when he turned round to flick us a V-sign.’
- ‘As he was led to the cells, he turned back and made a two-fingered V-sign at police officers sitting in court.’
- ‘He came right across at me and because I was in his way - him being in the wrong lane - started to flash his lights and made V-signs at me.’
- ‘The 1979 British GP at Silverstone was broadcast live and Sheene played up to the cameras, giving Roberts the V-sign whenever he passed the American - something he did on several occasions during the race.’
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