[Thread Prev][Thread Next]   >Date Index >Thread Index

history lesson

Markus Wennrich - Fri Apr 23 09:34:42 1999

A Little history lesson for you...History of Giving the Finger:
                           ,/_  /
                          /    /
                    /'_ '/'   '/'__'7,
                 /'/    /    /    /" /_\
                ('(    '    '     _~/'   ')
                 \                 '     /
                  '\'               _.7'
                    \              (
                      \             \

       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 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 

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 are 
mistakenly thought to have something to do with an intimate encounter. It 
is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used w/the longbow 
that the symbolic gesture is known as "giving the bird."  

And yew thought yew knew everything!  

nick@schoko.org                   http://www.schoko.org/~nick/

There are three kinds of people -- those who can count and those who can't.