Sign of the horns

(Sign of the devil?)


The sign of the horns is a hand gesture that really has a lot of different meanings.

One of the first uses can be traced to religious rituals in Wicca to present the “Horned God”.

In more recent times, though not in all places, when it’s pointed towards someone it indicates cuckoldry. Therefore it’s seen as offensive.

And it became popular in heavy metal thanks to Ronnie James Dio

Source: Wikimedia

On an interview he gave in 2001 on metal-rules.com Dio said:

“I doubt very much if I would be the first one who ever did that. That’s like saying I invented the wheel, I’m sure someone did that at some other point. I think you’d have to say that I made it fashionable. I used it so much and all the time and it had become my trademark until the Britney Spears audience decided to do it as well. So it kind of lost its meaning with that. But it was…. I was in Sabbath at the time. It was a symbol that I thought was reflective of what that band was supposed to be all about. It’s NOT the devil’s sign like we’re here with the devil. It’s an Italian thing I got from my Grandmother called the “Malocchio”. It’s to ward off the Evil Eye or to give the Evil Eye, depending on which way you do it. It’s just a symbol but it had magical incantations and attitudes to it and I felt it worked very well with Sabbath. So I became very noted for it and then everybody else started to pick up on it and away it went. But I would never say I take credit for being the first to do it. I say because I did it so much that it became the symbol of rock and roll of some kind.”

More recently still it follows somewhat that pattern but now you can even represent it digitally like so: \m/

There’s plenty more uses for this sign though, and I have a feeling it’ll keep changing.


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