From their days as Michelle Tanner on “Full House” to their years as respected fashion designers, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have been inseparable. So it should come as a surprise to no one that they’ve developed a secret twin language over the years.
The Olsen twins recently showed off their self-created code at a New York Fashion Week showcase for their fashion line, The Row. A video of the moment, captured right after the Olsens finished their show, shows Mary-Kate standing in front of Ashley as her sister claps her hand against her hip. After the twins are done clapping, Mary-Kate can be seen gripping Ashley’s hand and squeezing it in tight, quick successions before her sister returns the favor.
According to Vanity Fair, many fans called the gesture “weird” and “awkward,” with some speculating that the twins were so “weird and eccentric” that their hand signal “could be about Iran’s nuclear power plant.” Turns out, the hand squeeze wasn’t about nuclear weapons, but it was a way for the twins to secretly tell each other, “I love you.”
In an old E! special with the Olsens, Mary-Kate explained that the two created a secret handshake years ago to express their love for one another. Like they did in the video, the handshake begins with a twin squeezing the other’s hand three times. The act is then reciprocated with the other twin squeezing back four times.
“We have this little thing when we love each other where we’ll squeeze each other like three times,” she said. “Then I’ll squeeze her hand back four times. Like, ‘I love you, too.’”
After all these years, Mary-Kate and Ashley still speak in their secret twin code. Though we’ve deciphered one phrase, there are probably tons of gestures yet to be translated. So we better start brushing up on our Olsen-ese.