Why is it rude to point and laugh? © Getty Images

Why is it rude to point?

To point or not to point...probably best not to.

Asked by: Rob Banino, Bristol


In many cultures, including ours, pointing at other people is considered rude because it’s associated with blame allocation (‘to point the finger at…’). Also, by pointing at someone, you automatically, and without their consent, make them an object of scrutiny. However, this taboo does not appear to be culturally universal. For instance, the anthropologist Olivier Le Guen notes that among the indigenous Yucatec Mayas in southern Mexico, it’s not considered rude to point at others.

Do all cultures have swear words? © iStock


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