‘It’s not a turkey call’: The cultural significance behind Shakira’s meme-worthy ‘tongue thing’ at the Super Bowl


Like much of Shakira’s widely heralded performance, which was full of nods to her Colombian and Lebanese heritage, the seemingly random trill actually carried deep cultural significance. To those familiar with Middle Eastern culture, the sound was akin to a traditional Arabic expression of joy and celebration called a zaghrouta.

Repeating Islands

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A report by Allyson Chiu for The Washington Post.

The head-turning moment came minutes into Sunday’s Super Bowl LIV halftime show.

Grammy Award-winning singer Shakira had just launched into her hit song “Hips Don’t Lie” when she abruptly leaned down toward one of the cameras at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., stuck out her tongue and let out a high-pitched, warbling cry.

The Internet instantly exploded with reactions to the unexpected ululation and its accompanying tongue action. Some viewers were perplexed. Others ridiculed the 43-year-old singer, creating countless memes that likened her to a gleeful turkey, a petulant toddler and characters from Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants” cartoon, among a host of other unflattering comparisons.

It didn’t take long, however, for many to point out that the mocking images and commentary were in poor taste.

Like much of Shakira’s widely heralded performance, which was full…

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About Dr. Rex

I'm originally from Puerto Rico. I was born in Santurce and raised in Rio Piedras. Have lived in Florida since 1999. I have a doctorate degree in Medicine; completed in 1976. My Internal Medicine specialty was completed in 1979. Worked for Puerto Rico's health system until 1985. At this time, I'm happily retired after working for the federal government for almost 28yrs. I want to offer any knowledge that I have to anyone "out there" who is interested. My views are liberal in almost every sense. My knowledge is "eclectic" - a bit of everything. Music and reading are my passion. Blogging has also become a very interesting endeavor. Metaphysical topics attract me. I'm interested in news reporting human issues like injustice, discrimination and abuse - the "wrongly" affected. My intention is to bring this knowledge to an understandable level and to help anyone in need. I'm open to questions and will answer them to the best of my ability. Currently working on an enterprise whose main mission will be to bring peoples of all walks of life together. To be one .... since we ALL are ONE!! The future looks bright and promising!!!

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