OSLO, Norway -- President Bush's "Hook 'em, 'horns" salute got lost in translation in Norway, where shocked people interpreted his hand gesture during his inauguration as a salute to Satan. That's what it means in the Nordics when you throw up the right hand with the index and pinky fingers raised, a gesture popular among heavy metal groups and their fans in the region.
As any college football fan knows, Bush was referring to the University of Texas Longhorns. Of course, the irony in this story is that many people throughout the world feel that Bush is indeed in league with the Prince of Darkness. This AP reporter is a bit naive, though; this gesture is not unique to Scandinavian metalheads. The burn-outs used to do it all the time in my high school, usually while professing their devotion to metal performer Ronnie James Dio.
The gesture also has a sexual meaning in Italy, at least according to an episode of JAG.