Did we forget a nonverbal term?  Suggest it in the comment box or e-mail it direct, and we’ll be ecstatic to add it!  With well over 500 terms, the BLP dictionary is growing to be the largest free nonverbal dictionary in the world!  Brought to you exclusively by The Body Language Project!  Visit our homepage for more free learning.

Get a free start in learning body language today! Click here: Getting Started.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Tanned skin or tan: When the skin is darkened due to exposure to UV rays either through tanning beds or outside exposure.  Tanned skin reveals a person’s hobbies or work environment.  When it is due to tanning can indicate vanity especially when overdone.  Tanned skin can also reveal a recent sunny vacation, or that a person works outdoors habitually and will usually have callused hands.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

BodyLanguageProjectCom - Tap (the) 1Tap (the): A nonverbal cue given off by available women whereby the index finger taps the forearm.  It is usually done when the arms are crossed.  The tap is like an abbreviated finger motion as in, “come here.”

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

BodyLanguageProjectCom - TappingTapping: Tapping of the feet, fingers, or with objects, it indicates boredom and a desire to exit a situation.  Other times it indicates anxiety where tapping is a form of energy release.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Tapping a pencil on the teeth: Indicates that thought is taking place.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Target: That person to which body language is aimed at, or, of which is being read.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Taste or tastefulness: Nonverbal signals that are culturally specific and also somewhat subjective indicating that a person prefers clothing and material objects that are in style or fashionable.  Having good taste reveals good judgment about social norms, a sensitivity about the opinions of others, sophistication and prosperity. The opposite signals are conveyed with poor taste.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Teacup handshake:  The palm is cupped such that it makes no contact with the other palm. It indicates shyness or insecurity.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Teeth grinding or teeth clenching: Occurs when the jaw is tightly clenched and the teeth rub back and forth or simply by clenching the jaw tightly.  It indicates inward-directed anxiety, frustration or anger.  Other times clenching is due to intense physical strain or in anticipation of pain.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Teeth licking or running tongue over teeth or tongue to teeth: When the tongue is run back and forth over the teeth or lips.  This is a signal of stress as saliva production increases so does the need to move it around and swallow it.  The tongue on teeth also provides a soothing tactile stimuli aimed at reducing anxiety.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Tells or Tell (a): A term borrowed from poker, a ‘tell’ is a nonverbal cue that gives a person away and uncovers their hidden thoughts and emotions.  It is an informal word used to replace “cue”, or “nonverbal body language.”

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Territory: The area around a person which they feel is their own and guard as such.  It includes our houses or apartments, our yards, automobiles, offices as well as the space that surrounds our immediate bodies.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Territorial displays: Includes nonverbal cues that make the body appear larger.  Splaying the arms, legs and feet and puffing out the chest are a few examples of territorial displays.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Territoriality:  A key part of humanity that describes how people use space to communicate ownership.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

BodyLanguageProjectCom - Testing ClosenessTesting closeness: A technique that is used to verify a desire for greater intimacy.  Rather then using the entire body which can cause a negative reaction, testing says that legs, arms, or objects should be used to make brief forays into someone else’s personal space to read their reaction.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Thigh-thigh cross or thigh thigh leg cross: A more extreme version of the knee knee cross where the leg is drawn up further onto the leg.  It is extreme in so much as the legs are more tightly crossed.  It is rarely performed by men due to their anatomy but found in women due to their wider hips.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Thin slice assessment: The ability of humans to make decisions in astonishingly small amounts of time with only small amounts of information often involving nonverbal information – whether accurate or not.  This phenomenon is why it takes so little time to assess people coding them into characters and leaving them there relatively immutable unless rigorously challenged.  This is what makes using good nonverbals important in everyday life.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

BodyLanguageProjectCom - Threat Displays 1 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Threat Displays 2Threat displays: Nonverbal signals designed to intimidate and predict aggression.  These include chest protrusion in men, making the body appear larger and more outstretched, fist pounding, fist clenching, raising the voice, erratic movements, and so forth.  These gestures form the prelude to physical violence.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

BodyLanguageProjectCom - Thumb Displays Or Thumbing 1 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Thumb Displays Or Thumbing 2 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Thumb Displays Or Thumbing 3 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Thumb Displays Or Thumbing 4 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Thumb Displays Or Thumbing 5Thumb displays or thumbing: We see this thumb displays normally by royalty and also by lawyers who are trying to seem noble and important.  The gesture happens by placing all but the thumbs in the front pockets of a vest, or suite jacket, or by knuckling the vest and leaving the thumbs out.  Thumbs-out is a representation of ego, dominance, assertiveness and sometimes even aggressiveness.  Denotes superiority.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Thumb hiding: Placing the thumb of the same hand inside the clasped fingers, placing only the thumbs in a pants pocket with the remainder out are two ways thumbs can be hidden.  This indicates low status and low confidence.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

BodyLanguageProjectCom - Thumb In Hand GestureThumb in hand gesture: Done by placing the thumb against the index finger and where the remaining fingers form a ball.  The hand then motions as if pointing, and in a rhythmic motion, emphasize points with conviction.  The thumb in hand gestures is the “politicians gesture” since it is frequently used by various Presidents and world leaders and is a less offensive way to accomplish what would otherwise be left to finger pointing.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

BodyLanguageProjectCom - Thumbs UpThumbs up: Where the thumb is raised upward with the remaining fingers clenched together.  It indicates that all is well in North America and Europe, a sexual insult in parts of Africa, Australia, Southern Europe and the Middle East, the number 1 in Germany, and the number 5 in Japan.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

BodyLanguageProjectCom - Tibial Torsion Or Pigeon ToesTibial torsion or pigeon toes: Having the toes pointed inwards, often called pigeon toes or anatomically “tibial torsion” is a submissive body posture.  Children, and women who are smitten, will point their toes inwards to show their meekness signally their willingness to be lead by more dominant individuals.  Pigeon toes makes the body appear smaller forcing it into a less threatening profile.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

BodyLanguageProjectCom - TicklingTickling: A play gesture done to make another person laugh and squirm.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

BodyLanguageProjectCom - Tie AdjustmentTie adjustment: A stereotypical male grooming cue indicating sexual interest.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

BodyLanguageProjectCom - Tight Lipped Smile With Low IntensityTight lipped smile with low intensity: In this smile the lips are stretched across the face toward the ears using the risorius muscle and no teeth are showing.  The low intensity smile has very little upward curl in the corner of the mouth and indicates a hidden attitude or thought, uncertainty, hesitation or lack of confidence.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Tight lipped smile with high intensity:  A variation where the lips rise even further with some teeth showing and of which the lips are slightly separated, the corners of the mouth are upturned, gaze is steady and warm and the posture is relaxed.  We find this smile appearing when meeting new acquaintances and it is not a full honest smile, but does show openness to others.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Timber: A characteristic of the voice that describes its quality or sound.  Timber is influenced by age and sex coupled with the physical dimensions of the oral and nasal cavity.  Children have higher voice qualities, as do women, especially compared to men, since their vocal tracts are about twenty centimeters shorter, and in relation, so too are their vocal cavities.  Timber is a separate quality from pitch as even signing highly such as sopranos and falsettistas sound different across sexes and age.  This is what makes timber an important nonverbal cue as it ties directly into hidden meanings perpetuated by the creator of the voice.  We expect masculine men to have a different timber than less masculine men and especially different than women and children.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Toes pointed upward (while standing): Happens when a person shifts their weight to the back foot while raising the toe of the other foot.  It is a gravity defying form of body language indicating positive feelings.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

BodyLanguageProjectCom - Tongue DisplaysTongue displays: Nonverbal cues that provide cues to a person’s inner thoughts.  Lip licking, tongue protrusion and the tongue out the corner of the mouth all have specific meanings.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Tongue protrusion or tongue out: An evolutionary throwaway gesture thought to have arisen as food rejection mechanism by infants sometimes indicating genuine focus on a task or deceit, agitation and unhappiness.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

BodyLanguageProjectCom - Tongue Jutting Or Tongue Jut 1 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Tongue Jutting Or Tongue Jut 2 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Tongue Jutting Or Tongue Jut 3Tongue jutting or tongue jut:  When the tongue is pushed through compressed lips.  It is used to signal a cheeky attitude when done amongst friends, but has a more sinister connotation in competitive situations since it indicates that a person has gotten away with something.  In this case, the tongue usually does not touch the lips.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

BodyLanguageProjectCom - Torso ShieldTorso shield: Placing the arms or other objects over the chest so as to protect it from perceived threat.  It indicates a difference of opinion.  Shields can be hidden and subtle such as playing with a cufflink or holding a drink across the body, or be more obvious like holding a full arm cross or hiding behind a bar top or the back of a chair.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Torso splay: A dominance posture where the torso is seen laying back in a comfort position, the chest is puffed out, and the chest is opened or bared challenging an attack.  It indicates high comfort and that a person feels they are in charge.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Touch reduction:  When people are at odds with someone else, or are lying, they tend to reduce the amount of touching they do to other people.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Traffic cop (the):  The hands are placed palm up in a stop motion.  The speaker wishes the audience to settle or calm so they can continue.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Transactional analysis theory:  Abbreviated TA, and developed by Eric Berne in the late 1950’s it is an integrated theory of how people function.  It uses three ego states to predict and explain behaviour which are the parent, adult and child.  It states that the most constructive position to hold is the adult rather than the parent or child.  The “adult” is able to rationally deal with emotions and difficulties without throwing tantrums like a “child” and without trying to control like a “parent.”  Unproductive or counterproductive interactions were said to be due to ego state problems rooting in our development.  The focus was on modifying behaviour to achieve desirable results rather then simply observing them.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Truth bias:  A literature review shows that an average sixty-seven percent accuracy is found when detecting the truth, whereas forty-four percent is found while detecting deception.  People’s accuracy at detecting truths is usually higher than their accuracy at detecting lies!  This is what is called the truth bias.  Some possible explanations for the truth bias stem from the fact that in everyday encounters we usually deal with honest people.  While lying is pervasive, it doesn’t happen nearly as often as does lying.  Thus, we expect people to be telling the truth and are therefore better at detecting it.  Another possible reason for our inherent truth bias is because it would be detrimental to act suspiciously while speaking with others just in case they were telling the truth.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

BodyLanguageProjectCom - Turtling Or Turtle (the) Or Turtle Effect 2 BodyLanguageProjectCom - Turtling Or Turtle (the) Or Turtle Effect 1Turtling or turtle (the) or turtle effect: This posture happens as the head appears to be swallowed by the shoulders.  It is an evolutionary defensive strategy to protect the head and happens when people are uncomfortable, have low confidence about themselves or a topic, have insecurities, feel weak or powerless, ashamed, or are carrying any other negative emotion.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Twiddling the thumbs: A subconscious gesture indicating boredom where the interlocked fingers support the task of thumbs circling one another.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Twitching:  Sometimes referred as a nervous twitch, a sudden short burst of movement or flinch can be due to a variety of reasons.  Twitching can be due to sudden or sustained stress, but more often than not is due to a random firing of neurons, or underlying medial disease and therefore has no meaning at all.  When it is due to stress, it is likely person specific meaning they have a tendency to twitch when under stress.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Two-inch-drop: A female hip to waist ratio of which the hips are two inches larger than the breast.  It is a “hippy” condition and found much more in European countries such as Britain.  In Germany and Switzerland it is 2.4 inches and Sweden and France it is 3.2 inches.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Two-inch-rise: Opposite to the two-inch-rise, the breast is two inches larger than the hips.  This produces a “pin up model” condition.  In the usual condition it is the hips that are actually narrower and not the breast that is larger producing an illusion.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Get a free start in learning body language today! Click here: Getting Started.

The Body Language Project is the result of a decade of personal research including a thorough review of over 60 primary scientific research journal articles. Learning body language forms the perfect foundation for success in ALL your communication.

If you are only picking up on what is being said, you are missing more than half of the message.

For more information on BodyLanguage be sure to check out: BodyLanguageProject.com and the Ebook – The Body Language Guide to Dating, Attraction and Sexual Body Language.