Air quotes

Air quotes

Air quotes, also called fingerquotes or Ersatz quotes (pronounced [ ɛɐ'zats ] ) refers to using one's fingers to make virtual quotation marks in the air when speaking. This is typically done with both hands held shoulder-width apart and at the eye level of the speaker, with the index and middle fingers on each hand forming a V sign and then flexing at the beginning and end of the phrase being "quoted". The air-quoted phrase is generally very short — a few words at most — in common usage, though sometimes much longer phrases may be used for comic effect. A single handed quote is an equivalent, though less dramatic variation. This became very popular since the 90's.

Air quotes are often used to express satire, sarcasm, irony or euphemism. In print, scare quotes fill a similar purpose.

As English usage of air quotes imitates English usage of printed quotation marks, the gestures formed by the fingers in other languages depends on those languages' quotation mark styles. For example, German-language air quotes sometimes comprise one hand inverted relative to the other in order to imitate German-language quotation mark convention. French-language air quotes conveniently utilize the V-shape formed by the index and middle fingers on each hand to imitate French-language use of "guillemets".


In the movie "" Dr. Evil claims to have invented "quotation fingers". Furthermore, the character's use of air quotes can be seen in all three Austin Powers' movies.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Поможем решить контрольную работу

Look at other dictionaries:

  • air quotes — plural noun (informal) A gesture, made by holding up and bending the index (and/or middle) fingers when speaking, to draw an interlocutor s attention to the fact that a word is being used ironically or incorrectly • • • Main Entry: ↑air * * *… …   Useful english dictionary

  • air quotes — n. a gesture shaping virtual quotation marks in the air, usu. made with the index and middle fingers of both hands: She said she s a vegetarian, but she eats fish, so she put air quotes around the word[/ex] • Etymology: [1985 90] …   From formal English to slang

  • air quotes — /ˈɛə kwoʊts/ (say air kwohts) plural noun the representation of quotation marks during speech, made by a movement of the fingers in the air, and used to indicate that an expression is a quotation, is intended ironically, or is one that the… …   Australian-English dictionary

  • air quotes — noun The movement of a speakers fingers in the air to represent quotation marks …   Wiktionary

  • Air quotes — twitching of the upheld pointer and index fingers of both hands to mark out a spoken word as a quotation or otherwise distance oneself from the word …   Dictionary of Australian slang

  • air quotes — Australian Slang twitching of the upheld pointer and index fingers of both hands to mark out a spoken word as a quotation or otherwise distance oneself from the word …   English dialects glossary

  • Air kiss — Blowing a kiss. The air kiss is a ritual or social gesture whose meaning is basically the same as that of many forms of kissing. The air kiss is a pretence of kissing: the lips are pursed as if kissing, but without actually touching the other… …   Wikipedia

  • air quote — noun A hand gesture resembling a quotation mark acting as the verbal equivalent of a quotation mark. Since quotation marks are usually used in pairs the plural air quotes is more common …   Wiktionary

  • Air Force reports on the Roswell UFO incident — The two Air Force reports on the Roswell UFO incident, published in 1994/5 and 1997, form the basis for much of the skeptical explanation for the 1947 incident, the purported recovery of aliens and their craft from the vicinity of Roswell, New… …   Wikipedia

  • Scare quotes — is a general term for quotation marks used for purposes other than to identify a direct quotation. For example, authors might use quotation marks to highlight special terminology, to distance the writer from the material being reported, to… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”