Do You?

A while back (that will vary depending on when you read this) I read a question on Q&A that was by MystyMadness. She was wondering if she should start a glossary/dictionary for the translation of American terms to English terms, vice versa... One answerer asked what a *shaka* gesture was... I had seen it and knew that I knew what it was but had never questioned it until then...

So, I switched over to another tab to google it, just to make sure it was what I thought it was... Well, I was right about the Hawaiian part! lol! I think I thought it was a dance, but I was certain it was Hawaiian...

Anyway, living on an island, *shaka* is pretty much a way of life for me... Almost everybody *shakas* rather than waves... So, when I read the Wikipedia page on it and realized what it was, I ultimately decided - with the input of my EPeeps from Q&A - to start ending all my posts, comments, answers, blogs and questions with *shaka*

LOL! When I posted the question about if I should do that, I signed 'Sunshine :D' at the end, and lookslikejesus totally called me on my "massive fail"...

I also seem to have gained a small *shaka* following, or fans or whatever you call it... Sometimes, someone will answer a question I ask, *shaka* :D I love it!

On one question I asked, I forgot to post the *shaka* and when I was looking through the answers, Bluesugarfox refused to answer the question based on the asker being an impostor as SunshineEddy signs her posts *shaka* Oh! That made me laugh in delight! I immediately edited my comment to thank bsf for helping me apprehend the impostor and of course signed it *shaka*  People in "real life" don't pay that much attention to me and the things I say, so I really was giddy with that, lol!

So, I've been doing this for a short while now, but keep getting inquiries about what *shaka* is... I don't mind explaining it every time, but I did get the idea to post a story about it...So, here 'tis...

Shaka sign From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search This article needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (August 2007) The "shaka" sign is a common greeting in surfer culture.

The "shaka" sign is a common greeting gesture. It is often associated with Hawaii. It consists of extending the thumb and smallest finger while keeping the three middle fingers curled, and raising the hand as in salutation with the back of the hand facing the person that is being greeted; sometimes the hand is rotated back and forth to emphasize the sign.

Hawaiian locals use the shaka for various meanings, like "all right", "cool", "smooth", etc. Residents of states other than Hawaii who use the shaka may describe it as meaning "hang loose" and in California, the symbol itself is more commonly called the "hang loose" sign rather than the "Shaka" sign. It is also used to convey what locals in Hawai'i call the "Aloha Spirit," a gesture of friendship and understanding between the various ethnic cultures that reside within Hawai'i. It can also be used to signal a "hello", "goodbye", " 'till next time", "take care", "Alright!" In sign language, the shaka is one of the two signs used to refer to surfing.

The shaka sign resembles the American Sign Language letter for Y.

The sign is often followed by waving as a greeting or acknowledgement. It can be used when driving as a signal of thanks to other drivers (for example, someone who stopped to let another driver onto the road from a driveway).

The shaka sign was popularized among locals in Hawaii through its use by second-hand car salesman, Lippy Espinda, in his television commercials which were broadcast throughout the state in the 1960s. It was adopted as a salutation of friendship by the local culture at large from then on.

[edit] Origin

One theory according to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin,[1] prevailing local lore credited the gesture to Kalili Hamana of Laie, who lost the three middle fingers of his right hand while working at the Kahuku Sugar Mill. Hamana was then shifted to guarding the sugar train, and his all-clear wave of thumb and pinkie is said to have evolved over the years into the "shaka". This story is also told by the Polynesian Cultural Center.[2]

[edit] Pop culture sightings

The shaka sign was used as a campaign signal by Frank Fasi, a populist Honolulu politician of the 1970s and 1980s. Argentine football player Luis "Lucho" Gonzalez adopted the gesture around 2003 playing for club River Plate. It was used as a gesture towards fans when he would score. Ronaldinho, who has been awarded FIFA World Footballer of the Year, European Player of the Year, and other awards, also adopted the "shaka."

Pro wrestler Crush used the shaka sign as part of his Hawaiian gimmick in the World Wrestling Federation from 1992-1993.

UFC Superstar Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell is usually seen using the shaka with his arms crossed either in front or over his head as he enters the octagon to show respect for his style of martial arts, Hawaiian Kempo Karate.

US President Barack Obama was seen making the shaka sign on his inauguration day. [3]

The University of South Carolina uses this symbol which is meant to represent a spur of their team mascot, Cocky.

Shane Victorino, the Hawaiian baseball player who plays center field for the Philadelphia Phillies, customarily makes the Shaka sign as he rounds third base after he hits a home run. During the 2009 season, the team started selling foam "We're Number 1" fingers in the shape of the shaka sign at their home ballpark. The fingers say "Flyin' Hawaiian" on them, which is his nickname due to his speed on the basepaths.

NASCAR Driver Kertus Davis gives the sign after every TV Interview and when posing in pictures. Kertus' logo on his website is the sign.


SunshineEddy SunshineEddy 31-35, F 22 Responses Sep 14, 2009

Your Response


Sure thing! :o)


Great post, every time I saw *shaka* at the end of your posts, I silently wondered what it meant and am glad that you thought about those of us, who would wonder....thank you! :)

Thanks for the comment and thanks for reading!

I agree, it should be used in the right spirit.... that's why you don't see it on my posts when someone has got me bovvered!


I remember watching President Obama's inauguration when he made the shaka sign. One of the television reporters said that the newly elect President was gesturing someone to call him. Now if that reporter had read your story, this confusion wouldn't have occurred. While the shaka sign is something that is cool and a fun novelty gesture, it's the Aloha Spirit that should be taught to others. The gesture, like you wrote, has a much deeper meaning than hi or bye. People have to use it with respect and with meaning. Thanks for sharing....shaka

thanks for reading itworkedintheory....

What the hell? is Zap GONE?!?!?!


to answer my question....... *SIGH* yes, and he's not the only one........ *sniffles*


Thank you all for reading and commenting...

Glad I could offer some tidbits of info for some folk....


Lol, now I know! I always wondered about that haha, good post!


for sure.... ought to be a much more relaxed place after the take-over...

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D



The plan is succeeding.... as soon as the Shaka take-over is complete, we turn them into surfers... mwahahahahhh....

Can't wait to read your story!


ALL RIGHT!!!! Zap's on the team now!!!

Welcome, Zap!!!!



Thanks for that culture lesson, Perturbee :D I love learning! Especially other cultures...

LMAO freeed!! MadMax and I came to a compromise... the shaka you want to look out for is @SHA-ka@ the "@"s symbolize the chesticles and the emphasis on the first syllable perfectly illustrates how a man might say shaka in that particular situation :D


BlueSugarFox IS a pistol, which is why she's a "friend". I am NOT stalking her. I'M NOT! LOL {note to self: on Septemer 23, 2009 BlueSugarFox and SunshineEddy were observed shaka-ing; if MadMaximus is right I could have a good photo op if not an actual slap in the face [pleeze] Two times two - wow}.

The *shaka* made me remember a guy who used "Chakka" or "Tsjakka". It's very different and the move is actually a balled fist, turned towards your own body with the elbow at 90 degrees and pulled down whilst exclaiming "Tsjakka".

It supposedly signifies a "winning" or overcoming something significant. It got popular around the late 80's in the Netherlands, if my source is correct it got started with an 'entertainer' who claimed to help people overcome their phobia with pep-talk.

Reading your *shaka* made me think of this and it took me a while before realizing it's not the same. (Sorry if you felt any bad vibes).

This illustrates how wrong we can be at first impressions when we don't know a cultural background.

Thank you so much for posting this.

Love & Peace *shaka* ;)

Shaka to you, too, sweet thang! ;)


Definitely... nicely put! :D

Thanks for reading and commenting!


Oooooooooooooh, thank you for the definition. Yes, I've seen this before. Every so often I watch surfing competitions on ESPN2 and the different surfers will do that to one another. So that's what that gesture is called.

I like that it also means appreciating different cultures. So it's more of the dancing of the hand rather than the rest of the body.


LOL! Enigma, you are so silly...

... and maybe right... I don't know... lol!

I guess I'll find out, huh?


Question, can you get carpal tunnel syndrome from shaka-ing too much? Just wondering...


See, everybody complains about being stalked, but that's just cause their stalkers suck =P

*takes screenshot, updates dossier*

Glad I could help! I'm spreading the joy!


Holy moly, I make that signal all the time and I never knew that's what it's called, LOL! I never even contemplated whether it might have a name, haha. Thanks for the info :-)