Synonyms for thumbs up

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


If at any time the leader omits the words "Simon says," and goes through the movements simply with the words "Thumbs up!"

Bring closed hands in front of body, thumbs up, second joints touching; then separate.

Natalie gave him a thumbs up and a smile that Alan uncharitably took for a simper, and felt guilty about it immediately afterward.

Mayor says thumbs up (to the breast) meant death and thumbs down meant Lower that sword.

If he calls out simply "Thumbs up" or "Thumbs down" no attention must be paid to this order as a forfeit is taken.

Another: Hold the hands with the palms in, thumbs up, move hands right and left, keeping them about six inches apart.

Buck from time to time calls out as suits his fancy: “Buck says, Thumbs up!”

He is the market; he makes the price by the simple process of "thumbs up" or "thumbs down."

Aboh put his thumbs up above his head, and then with his hands described a fat animal with long hair, and made a bellowing noise.


Old English þuma, from West Germanic *thumon- (cf. Old Frisian thuma, Old Saxon, Old High German thumo, German Daumen, Dutch duim "thumb," Old Norse þumall "thumb of a glove"), literally "the stout or thick (finger)," from PIE *tum- "swell" (cf. Latin tumere "to swell," tumidus "swollen;" Avestan tuma "fat;" see thigh). For spelling with -b (attested from late 13c.), see limb.

To be under (someone's) thumb "be totally controlled by that person" is recorded from 1580s. Thumbs up (1887) and thumbs down (1906) were said to be from expressions of approval or the opposite in ancient amphitheaters, especially gladiator shows, where the gesture decided whether a defeated combatant was spared or slain. But the Roman gesture was merely one of hiding the thumb in the hand or extending it. Perhaps the modern gesture is from the usual coachmen's way of greeting while the hands are occupied with the reins.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.