The "Shame, shame" sign.

Okay, I was just talking to someone on IM about an hour ago. She told me she was going to get Burger King later. Now this is a friend of mine who always chastises ME about eating fast food…so, in ribbing her about it in a light-hearted way, I replied back with “Shame shame does the finger thing

And that got me thinking…

First of all, I hope everyone will understand what I mean by “the finger thing”. It’s where you take one finger (the index) and stick it out like you’re pointing at something, and then you take the other index finger of your other hand and rub it on the first one (over the top), in a downward motion just to repeat the process.

I then went to several American Sign Language sites and all to no avail. And it’s not exactly the type of thing that’s easily googled…however I did try, in vain, for about 10 minutes.

So what of it? This sign that’s known as “Shame on you”, how did it become so? I mean, it seems like it has nothing to do with, well, anything. Just a random movement of the hands. How did this ever come to mean “Shame, shame” or “Naughty naughty”?

Or maybe, like my last GQ question, about the phrase “mums the word”, it’s really simple. :o

Apparently, the origin of this gesture is unknown:

The story I got a long time ago (sorry, no cite) is that in some long-ago place, some minor crimes were punished by lopping off a finger. So, in mimicking the amputation, you are saying, “Hoo, boy, are you gonna get in trouble for that!”