4 Fingers Up
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4 Fingers Up or 4's Up is a hand gesture denoted by holding four fingers in front of your body, with the back of your hand showing outward and your thumb tucked into your palm. The gesture holds a number of meanings, the most popular being as a gang sign, a sign used by football players to denote the start of the fourth quarter and as a "silent signal" to tell someone you're in danger. In 2021, an Urban Dictionary user defined it as a silent signal to tell others you're gay and in the closet, inspiring a trend on TikTok in 2022 where users collect as many images of people doing the symbol as possible to jokingly infer they're gay.
It is unclear where the 4 fingers up symbol originally started, but on September 13th, 2013, a similar hand gesture was used to show support for Egypt and rejection of the Arab Spring. In 2017, celebrities and people on social media began using the symbol to show support for mental health issues. A similar gesture is used in football to signal the fourth quarter. On August 17th, 2019, an Urban Dictionary user defined the term "4's Up" as, "A term used in Florida to represent your 'hood' or 'block.' Individual is either repping north lauderdale, pompano beach, Oakland park,or broward county in general," gaining over 300 thumbs-ups in three years. That year on November 7th, rapper DaBaby appeared on the YouTube series Hot Ones where he discusses a photo he took with a school teacher where he told her to put her 4's up, gaining over 13 million views in three years (shown below).
TikTok / Urban Dictionary Trend
On August 22nd, 2021, Urban Dictionary user juicypeaches.org defined "4 fingers up" as: "putting 4 fingers up in a picture is a way to secretly say your a homosexual and not ready to come out the closet yet," which was shared by TikToker @popeyieschicken on March 16th, 2022, in a video showing the definition followed by a group of boys holding up the symbol (shown below, left). On March 18th, TikToker @girlsarenotfunny.com posted a similar video, showing a number of kids from her school holding up four fingers after the definition, gaining over 200,000 views in a month (shown below, right).
Throughout March and April 2022, people began spam-creating definitions for "4 fingers up" on Urban Dictionary, resulting in over 30 pages of differing definitions for the term by April 19th, many suggesting the symbol means you're gay while others suggest it means a love for something else comedic (examples shown below).
The trend continued to spread on TikTok throughout April 2022 as TikTokers used the various definitions in videos. For example, on April 6th, TikTokers @jflystr8_ and @ashveer.k posted videos showing people holding up the symbol using the definition, "4 fingers up shows that you are madly in love with me no questions asked," gaining over 40,000 views each in two weeks (shown below, left and right).
 The Atlantic – What This Hand Gesture Means for Egypt's Future
 MTV – here's why celebs are holding four fingers up in their selfies
 Al – Four-finger signal means something different at Alabama.
 TikTok – popeyieschicken
 TikTok – girlsarenotfunny
 Urban Dictionary – 4 fingers up search
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