Care with Praise and Approval

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arch One of my American colleagues often tells me that something was “AOK” (also “A-OK“). Now, I am OK with “OK”, but “AOK” really only has meaning as one of the public German health care insurers to me.

So, I wiki it. Turns out it means “spot on, fine, OK” to Americans, but the corresponding hand gesture is is considered offensive in many countries, including most European countries (but not in Spain), Brazil, Turkey, Venezuela, and many others.

So, instead of giving him an A-OK, I give him a thumbs up. Well…. better be careful with that in Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Thailand and India, though. Risky business.

My colleague provides the data I had asked for, and assures me that Okie Dokie is offensive in Yemen.

Maybe we should simply communicate with obscene gestures and explicit swearwords only. Chances of misinterpreting unfriendly words are small.


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