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The History of the Middle Finger

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monmouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 10:10 AM
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The History of the Middle Finger


Well, now......here's something I never knew before, and now that I know it, I feel compelled to send it on to my more intelligent friends in the hope that they, too, will feel edified.

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 they would be incapable of fighting in the future. This famous English longbow was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as 'plucking the yew' (or 'pluck yew').

Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and they began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, See, we can still pluck yew! Since 'pluck yew' is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodentals fricative F', and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute! It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as 'giving the bird.'

IT IS STILL AN APPROPRIATE SALUTE TO THE FRENCH TODAY!

And yew thought yew knew every plucking thing.
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Aristus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 10:23 AM
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1. Ah! Humor!
Nice etymology of "pluck yew."

But the Agincourt two-fingered salute story was discredited long ago, if for no other reason than because the gesture pre-dates the battle...
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monmouth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 10:38 AM
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2. Well that stands to reason, it was sent to me by a repub. We know
their grasp on history, do we not?....LOL.
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 03:08 PM
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3. It dates back to ancient Rome (possibly even earlier).
Edited on Sun Dec-04-11 03:08 PM by The Velveteen Ocelot
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lg59kis Donating Member (50 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 04:05 PM
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4. Interesting stuff
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Tobin S. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 04:42 PM
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5. And I thought this was going to be an MFM thread
:)
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trueblue2007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-28-12 12:54 PM
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6. interesting story
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