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“I Love You” Hand Sign VS The “Devil’s Horn” Sign

“I Love You” Hand Sign VS The “Devil’s Horn” Sign

Other than conveying a message by speaking or writing it down, there’s another way of conveying it: by using sign language.

Sign languages use visual-manual modality to convey an idea or a meaning. It’s a language that also has its own grammar as well as a lexicon. Primarily, sign language is used by deaf people in order to communicate with other people. However, sign language is also used by people who have a disability or medical condition.

Other than that, people use sign language in order to show their emotions, like saying “I love you”.

The “I love you” hand sign is from American Sign Language. It’s a gesture that has become mainstream. The sign was seen mostly in the United States and countries that follow it, it’s said to have originated among deaf school children who use American Sign Language. They created the sign from the combination of three letters, I, L, and Y, which makes “I Love You”.

The “ILY” hand sign is considered an informal expression of multiple positive feelings, ranging from esteem to love, for the person who is the receiver of this sign. A sign that is quite similar to the “ILY” hand sign can be seen being used by the performers or the audience of heavy metal music culture, they use it as a “horn” hand sign. Another variation can be seen being used in college football to show support. For instance, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics uses the ILY hand sign to symbolize the university’s initials, which are “UL”.

painted stones
This popular hand sign has many meanings, one of them being “I love you.”

The Horn sign has many meanings and is used for conveying many messages, however, it commonly represents strength and aggressiveness.

The difference between the “Horn” sign and the “ILY” sign is that the horn sign is formed by extending the index finger and little finger while keeping the other two fingers and thumb down. The “ILY” hand sign is formed by extending the index finger, little finger, and thumb while keeping the other remaining two fingers down.

Here is a table for the differences between the ILY hand sign and the devil horn hand sign.

ILY hand signDevil’s Horn hand sign
It’s used to show positive feelings which can range from esteem to loveIt’s used to represent strength or aggressiveness
It’s formed by lifting the index finger, little finger, and thumb, while holding the remaining two fingers downIt’s formed by extending the little and index finger while keeping the thumb and the other two fingers down
The ILY hand sign is mostly used to show love and supportThe devil horn is mostly used to ward off evil
ILY hand sign VS Devil’s Horn

Keep reading to know more.

What is the “I love you” hand sign?

a robot doing a hand sign
Many people have used this sign.

Deaf school children created the “ILY” hand sign by using a combination of the three initials of the term “I Love You”. It’s used to show positive feelings ranging from esteem to love. Furthermore, it’s formed by lifting the index, little finger, and thumb, while holding the other two fingers down.

In the late 1900s, the sign is said to have received a great degree of media exposure as Richard Dawson used the “ILY” hand sign in his sign-off from every episode of the show Family Feud.

Moreover, a Presidential candidate named Jimmy Carter picked it up from his deaf supporters as they were showing their love and admiration in the Midwest. During his Inauguration Day parade in 1977, he flashed his deaf supporters with the “ILY” hand sign.

Jimmy Snuka, a popular professional wrestler from the 80s, has been seen flashing the ILY sign with both of his hands in his matches and in interviews. He also used to show the ILY sign while standing on the rope before making his final move called “Superfly Splash”.

Moreover, the ILY hand sign has been used by the renowned Marvel character known as Doctor Strange while casting a mystical spell.

a Doctor Strange figurine
The ILY hand sign is quite popular.

Gene Simmons, who is a member of a rock band called Kiss, has used the sign in photoshoots, concerts, as well as in public appearances since the year 1974. In an interview, he explained why he uses the sign, saying he was a Marvel comics fan and saw Doctor Stranger using it. Thus, he started using the symbol.

Furthermore, the K-pop sensation BTS has been seen using the ILY in one of their songs called Boy With Luv. The sign can be seen in the ending, with all members turning their backs and using their right hand to form the sign.

Another K-pop band, Twice, uses the sign in one of their songs, Fancy.

In the anime Love Live!, Nico Yazawa uses the symbol with his catchphrase: nico nico nii.

The list of people using the ILY sign is endless. However, the only thing you need to know is that it’s a great way of showing love and admiration to someone.

What does the horned hand sign mean?

Many other similar hand signs are used in various cultures

There are many similar hand signs and they all have different meanings, however, the horned sign symbolizes strength and aggressiveness.

As I said, many other similar hand signs are used in various cultures. In Hatha Yoga, a hand gesture that includes the tip of the middle finger and the ring finger touching the thumb, this hand sign is called Apāna Mudrā. It’s believed that it rejuvenates the body.

In Indian classical dance, it’s used to symbolize the lion. Moreover, In Buddhism, it’s known as Karana Mudrā and is used as an apotropaic gesture to expel demons, remove negative energy, and keep evil away. It can be found in the depictions of Gautama Buddha, on the Song dynasty status of Laozi, the founder of Taoism, and on Mount Qingyuan, China.

Horn Sign Meaning and Usage Across Cultures

In Italy and other Mediterranean cultures, it’s used when encountering unfortunate events. The sign of the horn is used to keep off bad luck. It can also be seen traditionally being used to ward off the evil eye. In Italy, the gesture is called corna, which means “horns”. It’s quite common in Mediterranean culture with finger-pointing downwards, it’s used when people seek protection in unfortunate events.

The President of the Italian Republic Giovanni Leone surprised the media in Naples with an outbreak of cholera. As he was shaking the hands of the patients with one hand, he kept his other hand behind him while forming the corna, presumably either to keep off the fatal disease or to be confronted with such an unfortunate situation.

The horn sign is also used in religious rituals in Wicca, in order either to invoke or represent the Horned god.

Lastly, in LaVeyan Satanism, it is used as a traditional salutation, which can be for informal or ritual purposes.

When someone uses the “devil horns” hand gesture, what does it say about them?

The sign of the horn is used for different meanings in many different cultures; however, when someone uses the devil horn sign, they represent strength or aggressiveness.

The devil horn is very similar to several other signs mostly used to ward off evil.

Watch this video to have a greater understanding of the Devil Horn sign.

An explanation of the popular hand sign

To Conclude

  • Sign language goes beyond the deaf community, conveying emotions and messages uniquely.
  • The “I Love You” hand sign from American Sign Language signifies positivity. It finds diverse usage.
  • Widely adopted across entertainment and politics, it expresses affection and admiration.
  • The “Devil’s Horn” symbolizes strength. It is prominent in heavy metal culture and as a protective emblem worldwide.
  • Various hand signs, like the “Devil’s Horn,” hold varied meanings. It has various meanings, protects from evil, invokes gods, and prevents misfortune
  • Used in Wicca, LaVeyan Satanism, and religious customs. The “Devil’s Horn” serves as a protective or salutary gesture.
  • The contrast lies between the positive connotations of the “I Love You” hand sign and the diverse cultural meanings attached to the “Devil’s Horn” sign.

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