PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Narian Chengiah Naidoo
 
Comments: 14
Article views: 1471
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Narian Chengiah Naidoo's badges.
 

The History of the Middle Finger

26 April 2014, 20:00



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 everything plucking thing.

Just widening your understanding of both language and history!

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
14 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Lesego Setou
Thabo Mbeki: a worthy rolemodel

A writer once wrote no one can disrespect you without your permission and those words remind me of the noble man that is Thabo Mbeki. Read more...

0 comments 240 views
Submitted by
AsGodIsMyWitness
Fed up with politicians' baseless...

Isn't it frustrating to have politicians in South Africa continually making baseless statements and never backing them up with facts? Read more...

0 comments 425 views
Submitted by
Daniel Sutherland
The ANC set South Africa up to fa...

No party will be able to effectively govern this country, unless a change occur in the minds and attitudes of South Africans. No party, that is including the DA. Read more...

0 comments 809 views
Submitted by
So,Recently
The raging information war

Banning certain media organisations from one of his press conferences was a bad move on Trump’s part. Inevitably, the headlines will bring up the question of freedom of the press. Read more...

0 comments 88 views
Submitted by
Bud YZa
WP Rugby failed its fans

We went to watch the Stormers play the Bulls at Newlands on Saturday, as we have done for many years to support our rugby team. It was very disappointing, to say the least, that the ‘big’ screen was not working Read more...

0 comments 3930 views
Submitted by
ANTHONY VAREKAMP
DA hatred for the ANC has no boun...

DA idol, Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba is the cause of the xenophobic unrest. Read more...

0 comments 1073 views
 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2017 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.