When you heard the phrase 'jazz hands', most likely the speaker's reference is about jazz dance. It describes a hand position utilized in the earliest days of swing and big band music. Later, as jazz moved into bebop, the move became more muted and symbolically expressive. The famous choreographer Bob Fosse popularized the current form of jazz hands, so much so that his nickname was, in fact, "Jazz Hands." Today, jazz hands are almost clichè, but can still convey the overall theme and tone of jazz music and dance.

How To Make Jazz Hands

Form any pose that actively involves your arms and hands. Spread all of your fingers as far apart as you can. Tense your hands as much as possible. Move your arms (and body, if desired) in sudden, short, aesthetic bursts. Repeat until flamboyance is achieved.

And now for something completely different ...

A Compendium of Assorted Jazz Hands References On The Web:

jazz hands ('jaz- 'han(d)z) n. (Origin: Unknown. 1913.)

1. An initial strong impression one gets from a person that shows s/he is: witty; interesting; fun; creative; sexy; intelligent; and willing to make an ass of her or himself for the sake of amusement.

2. The only other requirement for a mate, friend or booty call.

Bitchionary, 2000 Edition

My hiccups were neither innocuous or cute. He tried shouting Boo at me, and while it was loud and unexpected, the effect of the noise was to add quasi-hysterical laughter to the hiccups.

All that air and spasming reminded my body of nausea.

Hiccups. Laughing. Pukability.

My face grew more desperate, so he tried another Boo! This time, he adding hand motions. Big, flat fans of hands with wiggling fingers.

The verdict? He said it best, Jazz hands don't cure hiccups.


Hooray for Jazz Hands!!!


now boot to the moon, jazz hands, boot to the moon,
jazz hands, boot to the moon, jazz hands, boot to the moon].
boot to the moon, jazz hands
Y'all are a real good bunch.

Reggie and the Full Effect, "Boot To The Moon"

Speaking of not accomplishing anything, consider the Jazz's rebounding for the first half. Don't worry, it's a rhetorical question, because all the rebounding was being done by the energetic Clippers. Nine times, a missed shot fell into Jazz hands, spoiling L.A.'s credible effort to get every single one. They did get 27, with seven different Clippers pulling down as many as any Jazz player.

Salt Lake Tribune, January 23, 2003

(To the tune of "I'm Super" from the South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut Soundtrack)

It's a party--
A Mardi Party!
The Marys down their crank and GHB!

Five more nights,
And four more days--
Then they'll all be back en route to old DC--back to DC!

<jazz hands>Yeah!</jazz hands>


Or to put it another way: when you destroy a nation via awe-inspiring airstrikes, the blood gets on the bombs, not on your hands. Your hands will be free from the taint of pacifist aggression. Protesters have bloody hands; Max Boot has jazz hands, ready to celebrate the snappy, well-choreographed liberation of Iraq.



A musical revue described by some reviewer as "Seinfeld set to music." He said it, I didn't. "Like the majority of musical revues, I Love You... forsakes plot for vibrato, character development for bouncy jingles, and story line for "jazz hands." Sixty-five percent of it will evaporate from your mind the second the houselights come up. But the remaining 35% makes this show worth seeing.... Mostly frilly, sometimes fun, but ultimately forgettable first-date fare." (Adrian Ryan) Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 325-6500. $23-$25. Fri-Sat at 8. Through Oct 6.


Ben Vereen would not be satisfied with merely singing. No, he must dance! He must prance like a pony across the stage! He must give you jazz hands and kick-ball-changes or else he will explode!


“Um—Oh, fuck, Nicky, I’m going to come!”

The younger teenager stroked harder, deeper, with his tongue, with his hands, and the combination was too much for Adam. With a sound that was nearly pain, he came, spilling his seed into Jazz’ hands.


CORDELIA: I'm an actress, a student of the human animal. I don't need to talk to people to know their story.

(Turns to point at guy dancing.)

CORDY: You see jazz-hands over there? Mama's boy. Peter Pan complex. (Points at a short haired blonde.) Self-absorbed closet-dud, with a big 'the world owes me' chip on her shoulder. (Points to Sharon leaving with Kevin.) Check out Sarah-plain-and-tall. Has or comes from big money.

Angel, "Lonely Hearts" episode (#1ADH02)

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