two thumbs up

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

American film critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel co-hosted a movie review program, At the Movies. The two had different tastes, and often verbally sparred and traded humorous barbs. When both critics gave the film a thumbs up, it was assumed that the film was very good.

Noun[edit]

two thumbs up

  1. (idiomatic) Strong approval.
  2. (dated) A hand gesture indicating strong approval.
    • 1935 July 7, “GLOSSARY OF RADIO'S NEW TERMS COMPILED”, in Los Angeles Times:
      Two thumbs up means everything on time and perfect.
    • 1963 October 18, “Three More Negroes Register To Vote In Louisiana Town”, in Toledo Blade:
      As he walked out of the court house, he showed two thumbs up and reached in his pocket to display his registration slip to some 30 other Negroes
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)

See also[edit]