Has the "hang loose" gesture been co-opted by nefarious types?

General question, but has the surfer’s “hang loose” gesture been co-opted by nefarious (alt-right, Proud Boys, etc.) organizations or attributed to negative purposes? I know the “okay” unfortunately got co-opted as a white power gesture.

I was jogging yesterday and passed a guy that ‘shook’ the sign at me, in what I took as a polite “Howdy, fellow jogger!” greeting. It was around mid-torso height, so I know he wasn’t telling me to call him; he also had earbuds in so I assume it was a non-verbal “hello.”

Just curious, 'cause it seemed pleasant enough–just a bit out of place.

There are no beaches to surf on, here.

This is how the OK thing started, people thinking it was a racist hand gesture when it never was. So when the Proud Boys got wind of it, they trolled people with it.

Maybe a hang loose sign, is just that.

Maybe it was a “sign of the horn”, which looks somewhat similar to the shaka gesture, the difference being that in the “sign of the horn” you extend the pinky and index fingers (rather than pinky and thumb, as in the shaka). In several cultures, mostly in Southern Europe and Latin America, it’s an offensive gesture. The original implication is that the person waving the gesture has slept with the spouse of the other person.

Not necessarily the person who waves the hand has slept with the receiver’s wife. It just means “your wife used to sleep with other men, you cornuto!”
Writing from central Italy here, and it is an offensive gesture for us.

Yes, like every other gesture :slight_smile:
New Zealand is a partly “Pacific Islander” country. Like the surfers, they got the gesture from Hawaii, where it is local waving/hello/goodbye gesture (with the local attribution to a friendly guy who’d lost the middle fingers on one hand to an industrial accident).

In NZ, some of the gangs are Maori/Islander gangs, and they used the Hawaii hello to emphasize their gang and cultural affiliation: my NZ contact said that seeing it in a non-gang context was weird.