This hand gesture is a secret gang sign for everyone who went to Eton
OE stands for Old Etonian
Top public school Eton have their own secret hand symbol which stands for Old Etonian.
It looks a bit like the “OK’ sign tilted on the side, but with three fingers sticking out to symbolise “OE” which stands for Old Etonian.
Some ex-Eton pupils have called it a way of showing their school pride and identifying a fellow old boy in photos, while others claim it’s just a stupid prank invented by GCSE students which got out of hand.
One Eton source claimed it was started around 2010 by some older boys and took off from there.
Another said it was a bit like the infamous Eton Dubstep Society – which even got an official write-up with meeting notes – in that it is another case of posh boys trying to engage in the urban culture they’ll forever be detached from.
Whether it’s within the grounds of Eton itself or just missing school on a gap year in Bali, photos have surfaced of old Eton boys flashing the sign.
Old Eton boy Charlie said: “It’s not always this blatant, sometimes people just do it subtly in the background of their holiday photos”.
Another Eton man wanted to stay detached from the whole thing, claiming it was an “ironic gang symbol” rather than a genuine sign of school pride.
He added: “It’s not the illuminati, it’s just another thing people have taken from grime culture.”
As for who made the sign infamous among old Eton boys, most admit it was the 2012 Olympics 4th place hurdler Lawrence Clarke – who made the hand sign before most of his races.
Another even went as far as suggesting Old Etonians and Made in Chelsea stars Spencer Matthews, Proudlock and Stevie Johnson were behind popularising the gang symbol because it started around the same time as the show.
Old Harrow boy and Birmingham student Calvin Law remembers the sign from his rivals, but insisted other elite public schools don’t have their very own gang signs.
He said: “I’ve never actually seen them doing the symbol in person but I know it exists.
“We’ve never really had any traditions of the sort. I don’t think we need mock ‘lad’ signs to assert ourselves as OH’s: we represent our scholastic heritage through courtesy and manner, rather than little ‘signs’.”