PLEASE NOTE:

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

 
Narian Chengiah Naidoo
 
Comments: 0
Article views: 325
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all Narian Chengiah Naidoo's badges.
 

The History of the Middle Finger

28 April 2014, 07:26



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
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Allinone Creation
To be a South African

So The ANC was formed to free the people from slavery, poverty and oppression. Read more...

0 comments 1874 views
Submitted by
John Robert Ramsden
Road deaths need attention

I do not understand the logic of Parliament showing such concern for a few lives lost each year in the mines when we lose 18 lives every day of the year on our roads. Read more...

0 comments 292 views
Submitted by
JBee Buthelezi
Tremor in Durban

I also felt the tremor in Durban. Read more...

0 comments 847 views
Submitted by
Graeme Long
The Calamitous World Order and Ho...

I’m a bona fide history nut. Whether it’s a subject, country or person the only sure-fire way to understand it, is to know the history. Read more...

0 comments 1773 views
Submitted by
Cerin Maduray
Saving to Save South Africa's Tre...

At the back end of last year we entered an interest rate hiking period. Mostly notable by the recent 50bps rate increase. Read more...

0 comments 362 views
Submitted by
Nhlane Mohlamonyane
Water in Moutse specifically Ntwa...

We are all more than well aware of the fact that the Country at the moment is experiencing one of the most severe and worst droughts that is has ever had and that the possibility of it breaking soon being hardly unlikely especially so in view of the El Nino effect on our position in South Africa. Read more...

0 comments 128 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
 
© 2016 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.