|Text on Button
Black text and a red illustration of a hand with its thumb pointing down
|Year / Decade Made
Jean-Léon Gérôme’s 1872 painting ‘Pollice Verso’ is thought to have introduced the concept of the thumbs-up gesture as a sign of approval and the thumbs-down gesture as a sign of disapproval.
In ancient Rome, when Gladiators competed with each other in combat for entertainment, the crowd often decided if the Gladiator was to live to fight another day by giving a thumbs-down which meant swords down. If the crowd gave a thumbs-up, swords up, then it was a fight to the finish with one Gladiator dead and the winner alive.
The logo has become iconic in pop-culture and has been imitated in many forms around the world.
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