Ever wondered when and how your middle finger came to signify f**k you? If you’ve been looking for a legit explanation, search no more. Just as history backs the world’s most famous incidents, this one too finds its roots in the lost pages of time. According to Ray Johnson, the history of the middle finger can be traced back to the 1400s when the British and French were engaged in the Battle of Agincourt (1415). Sensing a potential victory over the English, the French planned to cut the middle fingers of all their captured English soldiers, without which the latter would find it impossible to use their longbow. It is interesting to note here that the English longbow was made of the native English Yew tree and the act of using it was called ‘plucking the yew’ or ‘pluck yew’. Sounds familiar? Contrary to what the French believed, however, the English won the battle and mocked the French by waving their middle fingers in a manner of ‘see, we can still pluck yew!’. Difficult to use, ‘pluck’ gave way to ‘f**k’ and that’s how the infamous cuss phrase came to be
NOTHING EVERYONE AGREES THOUGHFor ancient Greek philosophers, Latin poets, etc., giving someone the middle finger meant insulting them with a ‘phallic gesture’. It was in fact one of the most well-known ancient insults where the middle finger represented a penis and the curled fingers mirrored testicles. For the Americans, the gesture was known as ‘flipping the bird’ and for the Greek, it was ‘digitus impudicus – the shameless, indecent or offensive finger’.And then there are others who believe that the finger goes further back – in South America, male squirrel monkeys were found to gesture with ‘erect penis’. Which theory would you support?
Source Radio Apna 990am.