Fingers Crossed

I got in a disagreement with my sons today on the way to school; perhaps you all can help us determine who is right.

Son #1 was saying something and had the fingers on both of his hands crossed, as a way of not meaning what he was saying. (You know, like "Wow, mom, I LOVE these brussels sprouts. Not.)

So I told him that he was only supposed to have ONE set of fingers crossed if he, in effect, wanted to say a big ole NOT; two sets of fingers crossed is a double negative, and therefore, a confirmation that he does in fact love brussels sprouts. Or whatever it was, because the actual content escapes me.

Thus started the argument. The boys say no, two hands with crossed-fingers means you are basically lying, but you don't get in trouble for lying. One hand with crossed-fingers means you are telling the truth.

I tried to reason with them: What is the point of telling the truth and crossing one set of fingers? Isn't that the same as not crossing any fingers at all?

I was holding firm, until Son #2 said: "Mom, you need to get out in the world more!"

What a smart aleck. Wonder where he gets it.

OK, fair enough. So I'm reaching out into the world via my blog. Which is it people? Which gesture means the speaker is lying, one hand crossed or two?

I don't care who is right about this, I just want to know. (Guess how many fingers I'm crossing right now?)

* * *


Hillori said…
I always thought that the more fingers crossed, the bigger the lie. And even if you cross your fingers, it's still a lie, and you still get in trouble. :) Just crossing your fingers for luck to not get caught. That's what I grew up with.
nicole said…
i think i'll stay out of this conversation.
Homemaker Man said…
Language is constantly evolving. it could be that nowadays the finger crossing rubric has been updated. I agree that I don't see the point of it, but you never know.
Anonymous said…
I think its only one set of fingers means your lying. I would only use one set if I lied. But I guess you could use both hands if you wanted.
Anonymous said…
Or I even associate having 2 sets of fingers crossed as meaning wish me luck :)
HM: Yes, language does evolve. My spouse the english teacher reminds me of this daily. My question: so if he told me yesterday he would take out the trash does this might mean something entirely different today?????

Also, he suggested that I turn to the smart aleck kid in question with quite another finger gesture and say: "How about this one? Does one of these mean something different than two?"

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