World rejoices as 'pinched fingers' or 'rega' emoji is released

Whatever you call it, Quentin Somerville, the Middle East correspondent for the BBC, sees the codification of the regional signifier for “hold on to your horses” as welcome good news.

'Pinching fingers' emoji (photo credit: EMOJIPEDIA TWITTER)
'Pinching fingers' emoji
(photo credit: EMOJIPEDIA TWITTER)
What would you call the latest emoji announced for 2020, named “pinched fingers”? Israelis would call it the “rak rega,” or “wait a moment,” emoji. The Arab world would probably call it the “sabar,” or “shway, shway habibi,” emoji. Meanwhile, Italians might call it the “ma che vuoi,” or “what do you want,” emoji.
Whatever you call it, BBC Mideast correspondent Quentin Somerville said codification of the regional signifier for “hold on to your horses” is welcome news.
He is not alone, and everyone has their own interpretation of the new emoji’s meaning. What it means for Israelis is that this hand gesture, which seems incredibly rude to outsiders but in Israel is just a formality of society, will be readily available with just a touch of the keyboard.


However, while the Middle East shares one version of the hand gesture, Emojipedia, the creators, share another.
“An emoji showing all fingers and thumb held together in a vertical orientation, sometimes referred to as the Italian hand gesture ma che vuoi,” is the description given by Emojipedia on their website.
Italians rejoiced at the announcement of the new emoji, with many celebrating the stereotype.
“Huge day for us Italian-Americans. This will undo Jersey Shore,” said comedian Samantha Ruddy. Fellow comedian Jaboukie Young-White noted: “Italians, we won.”
New Jersey’s official Twitter account merely tweeted, “endorsed.”
Others had their own unorthodox interpretations of the hand signal, such as turning it upside down is the universal gesture for a pinch of salt. Another Twitter user said it looks like someone eating rice with their hands.
Regardless, the “pinched fingers” emoji will be released as a part of a collection of 117 emojis over the course of 2020. The list includes ninjas, a smiley face with a tear, numerous new animals, a boomerang, a Russian Matryoshka doll, a piñata and a toothbrush.
More-serious emojis will be released as well, including gender-neutral spouses, the transgender flag, Santas and parents.