Mel Brooks makes a motion with his hand here in a scene from Robin Hood - Men in Tights.

hand waggle

Is there a term for that gesture?

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    For people who can't access the video: he's making the "kinda sorta" motion where you hold out your hand and then waggle it sideways back and forth. It's the hand motion you would make if somebody asked you how likely it was that you failed a test and your answer was "ehhh, fifty-fifty." Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 18:37
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    so-so gesture, also called "hand rocking".
    – Graffito
    Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 19:19
  • By the way, feygele (in the video) means homosexual in Yiddish (it also means a few other innocuous things). This might help in understanding the motion. Commented Sep 27, 2016 at 22:12
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    A little bit more, a little bit less. Oy vey, that sounds downright shaky to me. Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 0:00
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    @Graffito yours is the best guess so far. Care to post it as an answer?
    – Shaul Behr
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 7:40

2 Answers 2


He's fluttering his hand, which is usually interpreted as uncertainty. Maybe yes, maybe, no, but probably no. Wavering in regard to a decision.

Flutter: to move with quick, wavering or flapping motions. Webster's New Collegiate.


This is, as @Graffito wrote in a comment, the "so-so gesture".

Wikipedia explains,

The so-so gesture expresses neutral ("so-so") sentiment or mild dissatisfaction ("meh"), or can describe an uncertain situation ("maybe"). The hand is held parallel to the ground (face down) and rocked slightly.

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