The book "Greetings From Witness Protection" has the following sentence: "I never saw an adult make jazz-hands before."

What in the world does that mean?


I read the selection Greetings from Witness Protection and it shed no light on the meaning.

jazz hands macmillan

in dance, musicals, cabaret, etc., the action of waving the hands with the palms facing forward and the fingers wide open, in order to show excitement or enthusiasm

The exact origins of jazz hands

are a bit murky, but as with most performative dance, it likely has its roots in African dance traditions. “I see one thread of it coming up through the African-American foundation of jazz dance, and that authentic jazz tradition.


Some people contend that jazz hands can be traced back to Al Jolson’s 1927 film, The Jazz Singer.

My sense is it demonstrates excitement and or approval.

jazz hands

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