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air quotes

plural noun
a gesture in which two fingers of each hand draw quotation marks in the air, used when uttering a word or phrase one does not think is appropriate or accurate.
Compare scare quotes.
Also called finger quotes. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Contemporary definitions for air quote

the use of one's index and middle fingers on each hand to gesture quotation marks for a word or saying


Air quotes often indicate derision, irony, or sarcasm.

plural noun

a twitching movement of the first and second fingers of both hands to quote another or to emphasize or be sarcastic about a statement

Usage Note

slang's 21st Century Lexicon
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Slang definitions & phrases for air quote

air quotes

noun phrase

A twitching movement of the first and second fingers of each hand to quote another or emphasize or e sarcasti about a statement

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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