Are you also wondering what this new Tiktok craze means?
A hand gesture known as '4 fingers up' or '4's up' is made by holding four fingers in front of your body, the back of your hand extending, and your thumb tucked into your palm. The most common uses of the gesture are as a gang sign, a signal of the fourth quarter used by football players, and a 'silent signal' to alert someone that you are in danger. In 2021, a user of Urban Dictionary described it as a 'covert way to let people know you're gay and in the closet. This definition spread a trend on Tiktok in 2022, where users gathered as many pictures of people performing the symbol as they could find, jokingly inferring they were gay.
Where did it start?
Though it is unclear where the four fingers up gesture originated, it was used on September 13, 2013 to support Egypt and denounce the Arab Spring. In 2017, celebrities and social media users started utilizing the gesture to promote mental health issues. In football, the fourth quarter was announced with a similar gesture. Also, the term '4's up' was described as a term used in Florida to indicate your 'hood' or 'block' by an Urban Dictionary user on August 17th, 2019. That year, on November 7th, rapper DaBaby appeared on the YouTube series Hot Ones, where he talks a shot with a school teacher when he urged her to put her 4's up, getting over 13 million views in three years.
4's Up Gesture Spread
Urban Dictionary user juicypeaches.org defined '4 fingers up' as putting 4 fingers up in a picture is a way to secretly say you're a homosexual and not ready to come out of the closet yet, on August 22nd, 2021. This definition was shared by TikToker @popeyieschiclen on March 12, 2022, in a video that featured the definition and a group of boys holding up the said gesture. Another one is the video which was shared on March 18 by the Tiktoker account girlsarenotfunny.com, which has received over 200,000 views in a month, featuring several students from her school holding up four fingers after the definition.
People started spamming Urban Dictionary with definitions for '4 fingers up' in March and April 2022. By April 19, 2022, there were over 30 pages of different definitions for the term, with some saying the gesture means you are gay and others saying it means you have a funny love for something.
Throughout April 2022,TikTokers exploited the varied definitions in videos, which helped the trend expand on the platform. For instance, on April 6th, the Tiktok accounts @jflystr8_ and @ashveer.k posted videos of people holding up the symbol with the caption '4 fingers up shows that you are madly in love with me no questions asked,' and they had over 40,000 views each in the subsequent two weeks.