By Eric Zorn on June 8, 2022

“In the Greek-speaking world, there is another obscene gesture — the moutza — which takes on the the role of the taboo obscenity. The moutza is performed by pushing an open palm, with fingers stiffly spread, toward the face of the victim. To a non-Greek, it looks similar to an ordinary ‘hand-repel’ gesture saying ‘go back, go back,’ but in Greece it has an ancient history dating from Byzantine times, where it originated as a gesture symbolizing the thrusting of feces into the face of a chained criminal who was being paraded through the streets.” — from “Gestures, Their Origins and Distribution” by Desmond Morris et. al., 1979)