What is the origin of the 'thumbs up - thumbs down' sign?
#50571. Asked by shades96. (Aug 26 04 9:46 AM)
[Aug 26 04 11:20 AM] mibmob writes:
..and there is still debate as to whether thumbs up meant that the gladiator's life was spared or whether it meant that it was ok to kill him!
Aug 26 04, 9:55 AM
Brewer's Dictionery of Phrase and Fable agrees with mibby:
In the ancient Roman combats, when a Gladiator was vanquished it rested with the spectators to decide whether he should be slain or not. If they wished him to live, they shut up their thumbs in their fists; if to be slain they turned out their thumbs.
A good example of this action was Peter Ustinov when he played Nero in 'Quo Vadis'
Aug 26 04, 2:27 PM
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