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French Gestures — and Not The One You’re Thinking

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Carolyn in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has been teaching her grandchildren some conventional French gestures to tease their grandfather. She’s using the book Beaux Gestes: A Guide to French Body Talk (Bookshop|Amazon) by renowned French scholar Laurence Wylie, with photographs by Rick Stafford. For example, pointing to one’s eye, or even using a finger to pull down one’s lower eyelid, and saying Mon oeil! expresses doubt or refusal to acknowledge what’s been said. This is part of a complete episode.

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