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The loser is a hand gesture made by extending the thumb and index fingers, leaving the other fingers closed to create the letter L, interpreted as "loser", and generally given as a demeaning sign. Sometimes this is accompanied by raising the hand to the giver's forehead, and sometimes it is done when resting the head in one's own hands.
The gesture was popular in the 1990s, partly popularized by the 1994 movie Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and 1993's The Sandlot, as well as the 1999 Smash Mouth song "All Star," which contains the lyric "she was looking kind of dumb with her finger and her thumb in the shape of an 'L' on her forehead."
Usage of an "L" handsign in specific contexts
The gesture is used in the logo of Glee to form the logo's L. It is used as a sign of affection among the fans of that show ('Gleeks').
In the Philippines it was used by supporters of Corazon Aquino during her presidential candidacy against the then-President Ferdinand Marcos; the "L" gesture meaning "laban" (translated, "fight" or "contest" which could refer to fighting against Marcos). It was readopted during the presidential campaign of Benigno Aquino III, son of Corazon Aquino.
Pro-wrestler Zack Ryder uses the gesture as one half of his own "Long Island" sign ("L" gesture on his right hand means "Long" and an extended index finger on his left hand means "Island"). Wrestlers The Bella Twins also use the gesture.
The gesture is also used by fans of Polish football club Legia Warsaw, whose logo is an "L" inside a circle.
In the game Fortnite Battle Royale, there is an emote called "Take the L", which uses the Loser gesture on a dance.
- Armstrong, Nancy; Wagner, Melissa (2003). Field Guide to Gestures: How to Identify and Interpret Virtually Every Gesture Known to Man. Quirk Books. ISBN 1-931686-20-3.
- Armstrong; Wagner (2003), p. 69
- Armstrong; Wagner (2003), p. 68
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