When someone sticks his tongue out at you, do you take it as a sign of rudeness? Cultures vary widely in their interpretation. In Tibet, it can function as a greeting and sign of respect. In the Maori People of New Zealand, the gesture is part of a war chant preceding battle. To them, it signifies strength and ferocity. They think it will intimidate their enemies. In other cultures, it is a display of silliness from children, but from adults, it is offensive.