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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Pope Bitterz D'Alomo's Avatar
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    Default Pluck Yew-the history behind flipping the bird(the middle finger)

    In the film Titanic the character Rose is shown giving the finger to Jack, another character. Many people who have seen the film question whether "giving the finger" was done around the time of the Titanic disaster, or was it a more recent gesture invented by some defiant seventh-grader. According to research, here's the true story:

    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 [soldiers 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." 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!"



    Over the years some "folk etymologies" have grown up around this symbolic gesture. Since "pluck yew" is rather difficult to say, like "pheasant mother plucker," which is who you had to go to for the feathers used on the arrows for the longbow, 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 that the gesture is known as "giving the bird."

    The "one-finger salute," or at any rate sexual gestures involving the middle finger, are thousands of years old. In Gestures: Their Origins and Distribution, Desmond Morris and colleagues note that the digitus infamis or digitus impudicus (infamous or indecent finger) is mentioned several times in the literature of ancient Rome. Turning to our vast classical library, we quickly turn up three references. Two are from the epigrammatist Martial: "Laugh loudly, Sextillus, when someone calls you a queen and put your middle finger out."

    (The verse continues: "But you are no sodomite nor fornicator either, Sextillus, nor is Vetustina's hot mouth your fancy." Martial, and Roman poets in general, could be pretty out there, subject-matter-wise. Another verse begins: "You love to be sodomized, Papylus . . .")

    In the other reference Martial writes that a certain party "points a finger, an indecent one, at" some other people. The historian Suetonius, writing about Augustus Caesar, says the emperor "expelled [the entertainer] Pylades . . . because when a spectator started to hiss, he called the attention of the whole audience to him with an obscene movement of his middle finger." Morris also claims that the mad emperor Caligula, as an insult, would extend his middle finger for supplicants to kiss.

    It's not known whether one displayed the digitus infamis in the same manner that we (well, you) flip the bird today. In another of his books Morris describes a variety of sexual insults involving the middle finger, such as the "middle-finger down prod," the "middle-finger erect," etc., all of which are different from the classic middle-finger jerk. But let's not quibble. The point is, the middle-finger/phallus equation goes back way before the Titanic, the Battle of Agincourt, or probably even that time Sextillus cut off Pylades with his chariot. And I ain't kidding yew.
    Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow. ~Aesop

    Ignorance can be educated,drunkenness sobered,craziness medicated but there is no cure for STUPIDITY


  2. #2

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    Hmmm nice info...thanks Pope

  3. #3

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    LOL Labiodental Fricative this loooooooool

  4. #4
    Bipolar Neo's Avatar
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    Nice info bro. Cheers

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    Moderator ajbabe's Avatar
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    Default When Did The Middle Finger Become Offensive?

    An American television network has apologised after pop star M.I.A. extended her middle finger during Sunday night’s Super Bowl halftime show. What does the gesture mean, and when did it become offensive? A public intellectual, expressing his contempt for a gas-bag politician, reaches for a familiar gesture. He extends his middle finger and declares: “This [...]
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  7. #7

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    What does the gesture mean,
    As I recall it means Up yours"

    and when did it become offensive?
    Good question, Ive often marveled at how the media blur it, how priggish are we

    Anything even remotely related to

    I wonder however if Ghanians are even moreso, the word naming a certain reproductive activity censored as above

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    Unhappy Plucking yew?

    Ah! So this is explains the Pluck Yew site about. Is it humor or fact?
    www.PluckYew.com

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