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  1. #1
    PapaBear's Avatar
    PapaBear is offline SgtCHP-Retired
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    History 101: The Middle Finger Salute

    The History of the Middle Finger

    Well, now......here's something I never knew before, and now that I know it, I feel compelled to send it on to my more intelligent friends in the hope that they, too, will feel edified. Isn't history more fun when you know something about it?

    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
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.
    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]


  2. #2
    Car 4's Avatar
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    Very interesting Papa.....this battle is also the genisis of Shakespear's Henry the 5th speech about the St. Crispin's day fight....."We few, we happy few...we band of brothers".

    History is GOOOOOD.

    Car 4
    I would like my country back. I used to believe that one man could never destroy this country. Not so sure anymore!

  3. #3
    narcodog is offline Rookie
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    Verified by snoops I suppose?

  4. #4
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  5. #5
    PapaBear's Avatar
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    Of course, it is fiction. It was posted to give everyone a chuckle!
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.
    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]


  6. #6
    Twan007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaBear View Post
    Of course, it is fiction. It was posted to give everyone a chuckle!
    quite amusing
    -=Twan007


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  7. #7
    Trojan 42's Avatar
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    Funnily enough there was a part of a history documentary, shown over here, where the historian mentioned that captured English archers were of no value. So the first two fingers of the right hand were cut off and the archers released. As there was no food to scavenge, most starved trying to get back to the coast. The long bow was a specialist weapon that required years of strength training to pull. ( I tried one years ago and couldn't draw it fully)Hence compulsory archery practice every Sunday. So although the pluck yew bit is made up, the amputation part has some truth to it.
    To be born an Englishman, is to be a winner in the Lottery of Life.



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