Friday, May 02, 2008

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 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.

2 comments:

Another Suffering Trader said...

Great story, unfortunately, it sounded too good. So I had to check Snopes and they say no dice: http://www.snopes.com/language/apocryph/pluckyew.asp.

Still like your blog though. Found it yesterday.

Sport said...

Great post...so I checked it out.... and under ORIGINS: It said "The piece quoted above is silly, and so obviously a joke that shouldn't need any debunking, and yada yada yada ........"

Of course, it silly.
Of course, it a joke.

The word FUCK means "Forbidden Use of Carnal Knowledge", so when you stepped out of line with those Pilgrims.....they would throw you in the stocks in the middle of town.

Of course, in those days if you lied in public you were fined 10 shillings and if you couldn't pay you spent 2 hours of having the towm folks walking by looking a you and saying....FUCK YOU.

If you were cursing God, you got 3 hours and if you stole from others you had to repay double or just have get a good ass whippin in public.