A Point of History


finger

The History of the Middle Finger:

All these years I have believe this important fact from history was just a rude gesture. Boy! I need to get to my history books and get my finger out

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 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 every plucking thing.          Well I sure don’t know what “Labiodental” means and could not find it in the Collins dictionary????no thumbs up for that one.

God Bless and keep reading

About irishroverpei

Author of "Lily & Me", "The Royal Navy & Me" and Chapter XXl Armageddon. Writer, blogger and RN Submariner, antique automobile enthusiast.
This entry was posted in Belfast Social History, veterans and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A Point of History

  1. Pingback: Giving The Finger? | The Irish Rover's Blog

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