History of the Middle Finger

A bit of lost history...


History of the Middle finger salute

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. Isn't history more fun
when you know something about it?

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!


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."

And yew thought yew knew everything!


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history, yew, longbow, middle finger, adult humor, adult jokes, bathroom wall sayings