In "The Expanse" the belter language consists of words and signs. While getting interrogated on the martian ship "Donnager" (Season 1, Episode 3 "Remember the Cant"), Naomi shows this sign:

enter image description here Screenshot showing Naomi with one hand pressing the pointer finger.

What does this sign mean?


2 Answers 2


It's likely a swear.

An upside-down thumb on top "OK" gesture is often used in American Sign Language to mean "asshole". There's a list of swear words in ASL on Wikipedia. It was also used in Mr. Holland's Opus, where the main character's son is deaf, and is forced to ask what the sign means after an argument.

This doesn't really guarantee the meaning, since Belter signs aren't translated and it could have language-shifted or been modified in the future setting, but it's very likely the creators are drawing from ASL. The context of the scene matches that meaning; Naomi was just drawn out and caught with a personal insight by the interrogator while defending her crewmate. After enduring her silent death glare, he immediately asks her to keep her hands visible. The interrogator likely guessed as a Belter she's responding that way, and she keeps the sign visible to make the insult plain.


The Expanse wikia page describes this as (emphasis mine):

Nail of index finger touching the thumb's inner side between the 2 digits, forming a circle, while the other 3 fingers are straight: derogatory gesture, similar to giving the middle finger

Naomi is flipping off the interrogator.

  • 1
    As with all wikis, it's written by fans. Unless there's a reference to back it up, there's no good reason to assume that the person who wrote the wiki article has any special knowledge
    – Valorum
    Nov 13, 2018 at 16:54
  • That's a very good point. When I stumbled upon this thread, the picture reminded me of the page I linked above, and made sense in the context of the scene in question.
    – user107127
    Nov 13, 2018 at 17:14
  • My concern with wikis is always that (if I was so inclined to do so) I could edit it to say pretty much anything.
    – Valorum
    Nov 13, 2018 at 18:07

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