Fake mustache or coke sign?
September 17, 2008 9:15 PM   Subscribe

What exactly does it mean when someone holds their finger under their nose as if making a fake mustache? Details inside..

Here's the scenario: I'm at lunch with two friends and I check my voice mail. In the process of me checking my voicemail, the following conversation happens:

Friend #1: Let's hang out this Sunday, all day. You just got paid right?

Friend #2: Ok! What are we going to do?

Friend #1: [Holds index finger under nose as if to make a mustache]

Friend #2: We should wait for Michelle (fake name)!

Friend #1: Yeah, you're right.

I think I know what it means but I don't want it to mean that because it would be truly upsetting news for myself. Please tell me your interpretation of the depicted scenario.
posted by hammerthyme to Human Relations (36 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Seems like a coke sign, but I'd take it as a joke.
posted by dcjd at 9:21 PM on September 17, 2008

You can tell yourself that they're going to buy mustache rides . . .
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:28 PM on September 17, 2008

I think it means they're pretending to protect themselves against a foul smell.

In other words, it's a gesture of distaste.
posted by Class Goat at 9:37 PM on September 17, 2008

maybe this is the elephant in the room and I'm the idiot pointing it out, but my first thought was "don't mention the war"
posted by prettypretty at 9:41 PM on September 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

"Does my finger stink?"
posted by delmoi at 9:45 PM on September 17, 2008

If it was a finger passed below the nostrils, as if to brush something off, definitely cokin'. If it was just left there as a moustache, that's likely a newfangled young people's activity I want to know nothing about.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 9:50 PM on September 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

hammerthyme is talking about THIS, minus the tattoo. I know it is a joke with the tattoo, but without it, huh?
posted by lee at 9:58 PM on September 17, 2008

Could be this German moustache joke?
posted by lee at 10:09 PM on September 17, 2008

They're talking about getting dirty sanchezes. While doing coke. What happens in Vegas...
posted by Gnatcho at 10:22 PM on September 17, 2008

Or after doing coke. Not sure about the chronology.
posted by Gnatcho at 10:23 PM on September 17, 2008

Most popular (U.S.) interpretations of the "mustache sign," per my unscientific research:

-- Dastardly intent, up to no good, sly mischief, etc. Mimicking the mustache of the stereotypical evildoer in the old silent movies, as he ties up a fair maiden and leaves her on the railroad tracks.

-- Mustache rides. (Male/female.)

-- "Sniffin' my finger." Teenagery poontang reference.

-- Coke. (But all day? How much do they get paid?)
posted by turducken at 10:30 PM on September 17, 2008

"lets grow moustaches!"
posted by jak68 at 11:01 PM on September 17, 2008 [3 favorites]

hammerthyme, what do you think it is?
posted by jak68 at 11:03 PM on September 17, 2008

Well it could be a private joke or they might want to spend the day doing Hitler impressions, but coke seems the most likely to me.
posted by ob at 11:09 PM on September 17, 2008

For some reason, reading that conversation first made me think that the finger meant, "Let's hang one on." i.e. let's go drinking. Although I think that probably they meant coke.
posted by greenland at 11:58 PM on September 17, 2008

Yeah, what is it you think it means?
posted by zardoz at 12:24 AM on September 18, 2008

posted by chillmost at 12:35 AM on September 18, 2008

the finger under the nose is the magical sneeze blocker somehow
posted by who else at 1:04 AM on September 18, 2008

Yeah, what is it you think it means?

Well, it is tagged cocaine. I'm not sure why this is devastating.
posted by ninebelow at 3:55 AM on September 18, 2008

along the lines of what 'who else' said about stifling sneezing, but I find it also helps sometimes if hit by a sudden wave of nausea, which in my case is often stomach gas. If you'd just eaten...
posted by hungrysquirrels at 3:56 AM on September 18, 2008

I'm kinda thinking coke is most likely, especially if there was any snorting or sniffing or whatnot going on at the same time. The Snidely-Whiplash gesture that turducken refers to, I think, is something a little different--imagine smoothing an handlebar moustache, more like that. Might be a private symbol or in-joke or something, but, not knowing anything more about these dudes than what you've told me, that seems less likely. I mean, you wouldn't have to wait for Michelle before you stifled a sneeze or started a moustache-growing contest, would you?
posted by box at 4:47 AM on September 18, 2008

Incognito. Silly spy stuff.
posted by TomMelee at 4:48 AM on September 18, 2008

"Sniffin' my finger." Teenagery poontang reference.

This is my thought, but it seems like the consensus is cocaine.

Here's a thought: if they're you're friends, why don't you ask, "Do you guys do cocaine?"
posted by muddgirl at 4:52 AM on September 18, 2008

Isn't the teenagery poontang reference a different gesture, though, with the fingertip under the nose, rather than... what, the first knuckle or so? Or am I totally picturing the wrong gesture?
posted by box at 5:05 AM on September 18, 2008

I usually see this when someone is making a reference to an individual who has a mustache whose name they don't want to say.
posted by Morrigan at 5:53 AM on September 18, 2008

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirty_Sanchez indeed.
posted by dcrocha at 6:31 AM on September 18, 2008

For some reason, that is how my 3 year old daughter "shushs" people.
Finger under the nose and "shhhhhhhh"
posted by Jonsnews at 6:59 AM on September 18, 2008

It doesn't really "mean" anything in particular. Like the pic with the tattoo, it's just kind of a funny thing to do. Fake moustaches are funny.
posted by electroboy at 7:06 AM on September 18, 2008

It depends completely on what their facial expression and other cues are like. If someone simply puts their finger under their nose like a fake mustache, it means nothing.

If you do it with an exaggerated mischievous look on your face, it's the fake mustache, and you intend to or have been causing mischief.

If you inhale deeply, and don't make a stink face, it probably means cocaine.

If you inhale deeply, and make a stink face, it's teenagery poontang.

If you talk in a German accent, it's a Hitler joke.

So if you think they meant cocaine, they probably did, as it'd be hard to combine the finger under nose with other actions that would be ambiguous between cocaine and mischief.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 7:34 AM on September 18, 2008

Coke. We could buy coke with all our hard-earned cash or we could wait for Michelle who always has coke and is stupid enough to give it to us for free.

Your friends may be lame.
posted by amanda at 9:32 AM on September 18, 2008

Seriously - this could be anything. It could even signify the plumber with the moustache and mean "Mario Kart!" (or whatever the kids are playing these days). It sounds like an in-joke to me, and the thing about in-jokes is that their meaning is opaque from the outside. So yeah, it could mean cocaine, but it could mean lots of other things, even things that ostensibly have nothing to do with the gesture.

Best way to find out? "Hey, are you guys getting coked up on Sunday?"
posted by xchmp at 9:34 AM on September 18, 2008

Wait, are you (the OP) "Michelle"? If you were checking your voicemail, perhaps you were not meant to overhear the conversation. In that case, I would interpret it as "Michelle is smelly" or "Michelle has a mustache," which would remind the other person that they should wait for you. It depends in what tone "Yeah, you're right" was said. It reads like *sigh* I guess so, if we must, and if so, they don't like Michelle.
posted by desjardins at 10:02 AM on September 18, 2008

Let's get our mustaches waxed.
posted by cosmic osmo at 10:06 AM on September 18, 2008

My two cents:

Sunday is a somewhat unlikely day to be getting coked up. In my experiences people that do coke on the weekends do it Friday and/or Saturday (Night, Sunday Morning), and spend much of Sunday sleeping and recuperating. It's entirely possible to plan on getting coked up on Sunday, but I've never really seen much of it. And I've known plenty of coke fans.

Also, some people joke about doing drugs like coke because it is a completely unthinkable thing for them to be doing.
posted by BeerFilter at 10:09 AM on September 18, 2008

I don't recognise the horizontal finger as anything to do with coke - amongst my friends our gesture for that is to to rub the side of your nose while sniffing. Oh, and our gesture for 'want to/going to be doing some oral' is v-shaped index & middle fingers, upwards, with the notch of the v over the mouth, with a briefly fluttered tongue.

To be a Hitler joke, you'd need to add a heil style hand gesture, and the finger would only be about one knuckle under the nose, not full length across the top of the lip.

The closest thing we have to a finger below the nose in the way you describe is about poon - but there it would be drawn beneath the nose, as if you're sniffing along the length of your finger.

Of course, our secret sign for 'she's a lezzer' is to tap the tip of the nose with one finger, so hey who knows.
posted by The Monkey at 12:30 AM on September 19, 2008

Of course, I read cosmic osmo's comment as a joke about making twirly Dali style moustaches. But if your friends are girls, they might actually be talking about going to a spa (or doing it themselves) for a little bit of maintenance.
posted by The Monkey at 12:33 AM on September 19, 2008

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