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History of giving somebody 'The Finger'

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by PeterS, Nov 26, 2003.

  1. PeterS

    PeterS Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Jan 24, 2003
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    PeterS
    Just when you thought you knew everything, I make this post!

    Giving the Finger

    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 weapon 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 began mocking the French by
    waving their middle fingers at the defeated
    French, saying, "See, we can still pluck yew!
    "PLUCK YEW!"

    Since 'pluck yew' is rather difficult to say, 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!

    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."
     
  2. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
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    Carbon McCoy
    PeterS, is this serious...? If so, it's hilarious...! :)
     
  3. Robin

    Robin F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
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  4. Jerrari

    Jerrari F1 Veteran

    Jul 24, 2001
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    Jerry Wiersma
    Peter....great story! I'm going to use that tonight at the bar so I look smart! Good luck right!?!?
     
  5. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
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    Bullseye, Robin Hood...! PeterS, so sorry to see yew get shot down, but according to snopes, all arrows point to false on this one... i'll admit, my eyebrows arched at this, thinking it was a really cool bit of history, but alas, i'm gullible... :)
     
  6. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
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    Jerry, you better hope no one at the bar reads snopes... :)
     
  7. Jerrari

    Jerrari F1 Veteran

    Jul 24, 2001
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    Jerry Wiersma
    Reads what?
     
  8. dan360

    dan360 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2003
    2,669
    Boston
    I think that I should point out that the V-sign (not the churchill peace sign, fingers the other way round) is the British "finger". The original story would have the waving of two fingers at the French. Obviously when you draw a bow you use two fingers not one.

    So when you visit england be careful what gestures you use to indicate two...
     

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