Argentine Hand Gestures: World Cup Edition

With the World Cup in full swing, not only are there plenty of chances to watch some heart-stopping soccer, but opportunities also exist to pick up on some bits of Argentine culture. During Argentina's World Cup match against Greece on Tuesday, I learned a new Argentine hand gesture. With the game tied 0-0, the camera cut to Diego Maradona, the head coach of Argentina's national team, right after Greece's goalkeeper managed a fortuitous save. Diego knitted his brow and flashed the gesture you see below.

¡Qué ojete! by Guido Indij [used with photographer's permission]¡Qué ojete/culo/orto! – What luck!
[Form the letter "L" with both hands, with your index fingers pointing down at an angle in front of the body.]

Here's a photo of Maradona making this gesture during Argentina's recent match against South Korea, although his hands are partially out of view.

Everyone knows that Lady Luck can be a fickle mistress. In the context of sports, you can use this hand gesture and accompanying phrase (¡Qué ojete! or ¡Qué culo!) to express that a team or player got lucky or that an opponent's success was undeserved.

Here are some additional examples of these words being used in a sporting context, which I found on an Argentine soccer forum:

"¡Qué ojete tuvo el arquero!"
"Man, the keeper got lucky!"

"Boca ganó el partido porque tuvo un culo impresionante."
"Boca (only) won the game because they lucked out big time."

"…ganaron con ese gol de orto"
"…they won on a lucky goal…"

¡Ojo!: The words "ojete," "culo" and "orto" outside of this context are considered quite vulgar, and they all carry the meaning of "ass" or "asshole." User discretion is advised!

Do you know of any other gestures or phrases specific to Argentine sports?

[Photo credit: Image courtesy of Guido Indij/Gestiarium]

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