January 21, 2005


Some Confused By Bush's 'Satanic' Salute (WFTV.com, January 21, 2005)

President George W. Bush's "Hook 'em, 'horns" salute got lost in translation in Norway, where shocked people interpreted his hand gesture during his inauguration as a salute to Satan.

That's what it means in the Nordics when you throw up the right hand with the index and pinky fingers raised, a gesture popular among heavy metal groups and their fans in the region.

Americans are supposed to be too parochial but these nitwits thought he was tossing a Norwegian heavy metal salute?

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 21, 2005 11:10 AM

Do Norwegians have occasion to salute Satan often enough to have a code gesture for it?


Posted by: Harry Eagar at January 21, 2005 1:34 PM

Maybe it's the European [U]nion salute? The big U

Posted by: oj at January 21, 2005 1:44 PM

Oklahoma University and Texas A&M alums probably felt the same way as the Noweigans, but at least they understood what Bush meant.

Posted by: John at January 21, 2005 2:33 PM

Any college footbal fan knows that's a reference to the Longhorns.

Posted by: AML at January 21, 2005 3:01 PM

That's the universal heavy metal devil sign salute, not just in Norway. Ronnie James Dio (who replaced Ozzy in Sabbath, as I'm sure you recall), real name Padavona, the American son of Italian immigrants, claims he was the first rocker to use it, and that he got the idea for it from a handsign his grandmother would use to insult people or ward off evil.

Posted by: carter at January 21, 2005 4:35 PM

I remember when they caught and convicted Richard Ramirez (a.k.a. the Night Stalker), a serial murderer in Los Angeles in the late 1980s. The day after he was sentenced to the gas chamber (yeah, like there's any chance of that happening in California), there was a photo of him on the front page of the LA Times making that sign.

Oddly enough, Ramirez was originally from Texas, although he had no known connection with the University thereof. He was into heavy metal, though.

Posted by: Random Lawyer at January 21, 2005 5:04 PM


It's Satanic because it refers to the Longwhorns.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at January 21, 2005 7:49 PM

It seems to be the cornu, the Italian signal that a cuckold is walking by.

It does seem kind of mysterious.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at January 22, 2005 1:43 AM

And now I read in my newspaper that it's ASL for bull----.

More and more mysterious.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at January 22, 2005 5:43 PM