The Middle Finger . the story behind it.


In addition to your history lesson for the day, I hope you get a smile as well. I don’t know who to thank for the original lesson since this was a cut and paste from an e-mail I thought worthy of sharing.

 

The History of the Middle 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 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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13 responses to “The Middle Finger . the story behind it.

  1. Just for the record, I apologize to anyone that might be French beforehand. I cut and pasted this clip as I found it, so please do not take it personally. I offer no ill will to anyone. I think we will all agree, it is interesting although the original author could have left the closing statements out. I did not remove them, because it is meant to be a joke.

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    • I am assuming it is. It makes sense. I left the last couple of ‘joke’ lines in to maintain the humor. I just hope no one finds it offensive. Key word “hope”. LOL.

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  2. Probably it is not true. I highly doubt that it is, most things that are passed around in emails really are never true at all. But it is still a very entertaining story, and thank you so much for sharing it with all of us here! 🙂

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    • Thank you for stopping by and visiting my blog. I probably should have run this by snoops to check it out, but it was a fun read and makes sense to me. I was a little hesitant to post it, only because I would not want to offend anyone. I’m glad you found the humor in it.

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  3. I’m here via your comment on the ‘Book of Terrible’
    (http://thebookofterrible.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/167-the-latest-super-bowl-controversy/#comments)
    and I wanted to read your post on the non-‘flip’pant (IMO) subject.

    Oh, how nice to know that this gesture did not have rude origins. The battle bit may be true, but I highly doubt the devolution to today’s “labiodentals fricative F”. Either way, this version certainly is a funny one.

    I guess there could be some who might find this offensive. It is not possible to determine or control another’s reaction. But you posted in it good faith and to share a light moment. That’s a winner in my eyes. 🙂

    >And yew thought yew knew every plucking thing.
    – Well done, Marcy! I enjoy a good play on words. Below, I will modify what a friend (Bestie Boy on my blog) had written to me in 2006 (I know!) because it’s in line with your last line. He’s just as clever with words.

    I read this ‘tree’ or four times now and I’m going to ‘stick’ with the humour behind the story. I’m no ‘sap’ and I was able to ‘twig’ it out on my own. I’m not going to ‘leave’ it alone, so I’ll ‘bark’ along to a few friends. Have I, um, outpunned myself? Think I could ‘branch’ out into ‘grassroots’ comedy? Nah? Okay. I’ll take a ‘bough’.

    Kate

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    • Thank you so much for stopping by,Kate. By all means, take your ‘bough’, I love your sense of humor. While I wish I could have taken some part in that posting, other than simply cutting and pasting its message from an e-mail I received (and of course the apologies to anyone it may have offended in advance), I can not take credit for the body of the content, including the closing remarks. I left those in to keep the humor alive. I got quite a chuckle out of that piece the first time I read it. It was my hope that the smiles would be passed along. I see in that light, my efforts were successful. So, congrats to me. Huh? Glad you stopped by. Please visit often. I am looking forward to checking your blog out as well. With your sense of humor, I’m sure I will have a ball. In the meantime, take care. Marcy

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  4. >I can not take credit for the body of the content, including the closing remarks. I left those in to keep the humor alive.
    – The messenger is as important as the message.

    >It was my hope that the smiles would be passed along. I see in that light, my efforts were successful. So, congrats to me. Huh?
    – You betcha! *wink*

    Did you think I’m done with my prattling? Not a chance! I’ve left my trademark, long-winded comment on your ‘About’ page.

    Kate

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