History of the middle finger gesture

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    1. #1
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      History of the middle finger gesture

      Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers. Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore [soldiers would] be incapable of fighting in the future. This famous weapon was made of the native English yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as "plucking the yew." Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, "See, we can still pluck yew!"

      Over the years some "folk etymologies" have grown up around this symbolic gesture. Since "pluck yew" is rather difficult to say, like "pheasant mother plucker," which is who you had to go to for the feathers used on the arrows for the longbow, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodental fricative "f," and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger salute are mistakenly thought to have something to do with an intimate encounter. It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows that the gesture is known as "giving the bird."

      And yew all thought yew knew everything!

      And now you know the rest of the story.

    2. #2
      Member propellerhead's Avatar
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      I've seen that story before about cutting the bow fingers. I think the "pluck yew" part is fictional.

    3. #3
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      Oh Pluck Yew!

    4. #4
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      Now your reading history books?

      Sounds like it gets cold and lonely up there in the frigid north ...



      WM
      Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

    5. #5
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      Actually, I was a history major until my divorce cut my college off and I had to raise two kids on my own. I got this little bit of info from a local paper called, “Fish Fables”. They just have a lot of tidbit information like this plus jokes and business ads.

    6. #6
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      Weather has been nice here up until yesturday. Now it's Da*m cold!

    7. #7
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      What did you plan to do with the history degree? I know several people with those, but they usually are working outside of the field.

      My most recent encounter was with a young man who is still working on his degree. He planned to teach until he was confronted with a classroom full of Middle School age kids.

      Now he plans to stay employed at the gun shop.

      He says its safer.

      WM
      Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

    8. #8
      Supporting Member - Legally Armed Scooter Trash scooter's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Wandering Man View Post
      What did you plan to do with the history degree? I know several people with those, but they usually are working outside of the field.

      My most recent encounter was with a young man who is still working on his degree. He planned to teach until he was confronted with a classroom full of Middle School age kids.

      Now he plans to stay employed at the gun shop.

      He says its safer.

      WM

      I would think Iraq is safer, at least you can shoot back there

    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by Wandering Man View Post
      What did you plan to do with the history degree? I know several people with those, but they usually are working outside of the field.

      My most recent encounter was with a young man who is still working on his degree. He planned to teach until he was confronted with a classroom full of Middle School age kids.

      Now he plans to stay employed at the gun shop.

      He says its safer.

      WM
      I was going to teach but I don't think I could now unless I was able to have more control over the kids than I legally could. I've been spoiled by great kids at home so seeing some of these brats out there drives me crazy.

    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by tnoisaw View Post
      I was going to teach but I don't think I could now unless I was able to have more control over the kids than I legally could. I've been spoiled by great kids at home so seeing some of these brats out there drives me crazy.
      It must be something in the attitude, or energy you generate (calm/assertive, like The Dog Whisperer). My little wife taught high school for 16 years with no problem handling kids other teachers bumped heads with. They showed respect in her classroom, despite being annoyances in others. She says she still doesn't know why the kids treated her so well.

      WM
      Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by Wandering Man View Post
      It must be something in the attitude, or energy you generate (calm/assertive, like The Dog Whisperer). My little wife taught high school for 16 years with no problem handling kids other teachers bumped heads with. They showed respect in her classroom, despite being annoyances in others. She says she still doesn't know why the kids treated her so well.

      WM
      Maybe she was printing.

    12. #12
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      Well it seems I was wrong here. This story about the middle finger is not accurate as my nephew pointed out to me. Here’s the scoop.
      http://www.snopes.com/language/apocryph/pluckyew.htm

    13. #13
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      Quote Originally Posted by tnoisaw View Post
      Maybe she was printing.
      Well, actually, she was typing.

      She was teaching typing at the beginning, then accounting and business law. The typing eventually became "keyboarding."


      Quote Originally Posted by tnoisaw View Post
      Well it seems I was wrong here. This story about the middle finger is not accurate as my nephew pointed out to me. Here’s the scoop.
      http://www.snopes.com/language/apocryph/pluckyew.htm
      Well dang! Now we want you to go out and find the real reason.

      WM
      Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

    14. #14
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      Me too. I guess I have an assignment don't I.

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