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Learn the Meaning of 'Rock on' Hand Sign in Different Cultures

Meaning of 'Rock on' Hand Sign in Different Cultures
Rock on or devil's horns hand are a general symbol of rock and roll and heavy metal culture. It is a hand gesture which is used in different cultures and holds a variety of meaning.
Ashmeet Bagga
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
Did You Know?
Many people tend to get confused between the 'rock on' hand sign and the 'I love you' in sign language. They do the horns gesture incorrect by extending their thumb.
It is known by a variety of terms such as devil sign, goat horns, metal sign, metal horns, evil fingers, and, also rock fist. You must have seen this gesture on rock concerts, celebrities sporting this sign, in fact even you would be using it. To sport this sign you need to fold your middle and ring fingers to the palm of your hand and keep your thumb over the bend fingers, leaving the index and pinky fingers pointing upwards, like horns.

It is one of the gesture strongly associated with everything rock, no wonder you notice concert-goers screaming and raising their hands high while flashing this infamous hand sign. Let's find out more about how it made its way into rock culture and what it means in different cultures.
Origin of Rock and Roll Symbol
► It is almost impossible to trace its origin but it dates back to Mediterranean culture, where it was used as a protection against evil spirits or to curb bad luck. If somebody was confronted with bad events rock on gesture was used to avoid ill-fate and evil eye.

► This symbol was first used in an ancient Greek painting, thereon passed onto Roman culture and then to Italian culture. Initially it was named as Corna which means horns in Italian language.

► In the year 1969, psychedelic-occult rock band Coven used this sign before starting and ending their show on stage.

► The way it entered rock culture was due to Ronnie James Dio and Black Sabbath. Though he is not the founder of this sign but he claims that he learned this rock on sign from his Italian grandmother. Once he joined the group Black Sabbath, he felt the need to develop some unique hand sign to connect with his audience.

► He wanted to use something of his own and didn't want to mimic Ozzy who was famous for using peace sign. Keeping in mind the type of songs which his band performed, he came up with this sign that he learned from his grandmother. However, he claims that it is not in any way related to Satanism.
Meaning of 'Rock On' Sign in Different Cultures
► The earliest use of this hand sign is traced back to India. Gautama Buddha used it as Karana Mudra and was considered significant to get rid of negativity and disturbing thoughts. In Indian culture, this devil's horns gesture means overcoming life obstacles such as sickness, injury, and bad time.

► In Italy and Mediterranean regions, the same sign is used to ward off evil eye and bad luck. To seek protection from or to ward off the evil eye, we touch any object made out of wood. Similarly, 'rock on' hand sign is used to get protection against unfortunate events.

► In Peru, people use the term Contra with the sign, which means against the evil or ill-fate. Even though it is used for good luck, several countries find this sign pretty offensive.

► Countries such as Cuba, Colombia, Argentina, Greece, Portugal, Spain, and, Italy interpret different meanings of this sign. If the rock on sign is aimed at somebody and moved back and forth it means cuckoldry.

► In Neopaganism, the sign stands for the horned god of Wicca. It is somehow related to Satan worshiper, though no real evidence have been found out.

► In music industry, it also means that the person is enjoying the concert and is a sign language for saying that the band rocks.

► University of Texas, Austin use Hook 'em Horns as their slogan and sign language.
Though in different cultures it has positive and negative association, but it can be strongly related to the rock industry. The symbol will always hold an important place in every rock enthusiast's heart. Rock on! \m/