« Joke Adaption | Main | Gigaburger »

August 02, 2003


[This wonderful Urban legend was submitted by Jivha.]

History About The Middle Finger!
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 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! -�"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.

Posted by Peskie at August 2, 2003 12:00 PM


I remember reading somewhere that the longbow archers were predominantly Welsh, not English.

Yours pedantically...


Posted by: Daisy at August 28, 2003 06:08 AM

I heard about that middle finger story before, and while that in itself might not certify the story's legitimacy, the guy who told me about it was at least English.

As far as the "F" in "Pluck", my brother in law is a lawyer and he told me a different story. When cops used to arrest hookers for solicitation they would do so under the charge: For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. When they would later fill out the arrest sheet they would use the acronym: F.U.C.K. When the other cops would ask what a certain suspect was being detained for the arresting cop would say, "For fucking."

My brother in law said he read that in a law book when you was doing research.

Posted by: carried away at August 28, 2003 06:08 AM

Uh.. I meant when he was doing research. I guess I plucked that up.

Posted by: carried away at August 28, 2003 06:08 AM