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Saturday, July 30, 2011

The History of the Middle Finger

by Shirley

I never knew this 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.

27 comments:

Michael said...

well pluck me runnin'!!

Lynn D said...

Morning Glories!

MeeMee you look fabulous!

Shirley,I am going to go pluck yew and then fly my finger. Be back in a bit.

Jodi said...

Good morning MICHAEL & LYNN!!

SHIRLEY - Thanks for the history lesson!!

Jodi said...

MICHAEL - Well that would be quite a trick.....;)

Jodi said...

Geesh.....I just love you pluckers ♥

Michael said...

ok...I think I got it...

Cee Lo Green – Forget You Lyrics

I see you driving ’round town
With the girl i love and i’m like,
Pluck yew!
Oo, oo, ooo
I guess the change in my pocket
Wasn’t enough i’m like,
Pluck yew!
And Pluck her too!
I said, if i was richer, i’d still be with ya
Ha, now ain’t that some shit? (ain’t that some shit?)
And although there’s pain in my chest
I still wish you the best with a…
Pluck yew!
Oo, oo, ooo

you know...I used to have a Yew wood tea-table....

and a African variety of Yew wood is used in some chemotherapy. Namely...the only one Lisa had...and the extract from the Yew wood caused an intense burn about 10 minutes in to the session...and eased about 30 minutes later....

Very powerful stuff...her hair fell completely out...pretty much all at once...after the first treatment...

Jodi said...

MICHAEL - Love the twist on CEE LO's lyrics!!

Just_Lin said...

Michael Gee, and I've been using it as if it is a sign of goodwill and good luck. LOL

You look fab today, as usual. I'm so sorry about your friend, Lisa. I know the loss still hurts. (((HUGS)))

Just_Lin said...

LynnD Coming in at second place today makes you Miss Congeniality. Are you up to it?

Just_Lin said...

HOdi Do you get this weekend off? Hope you get time to do something fun.

Just_Lin said...

Shirley Thanks for the blog. Not sure how accurate the history lesson is but it's fun, anyway. I am a quarter French, ijs.

Michael said...

A QUARTER FRENCH!! ....have you ever been to the French Quarter?

Loretta had injun in her...she wrote and recorded a song called "I'm Red White and Blue"

white for the honkie in her
red for the injun...
and blue cause her man just left er....

That wouldn't have worked at all if she had been a Quarter French...js

Lynn D said...

I'm telling you what a plucked up day! Very out of sorts and cranky.

Then watched Roseanne' Nuts and LMAO!

Now I am typing one handed and holding Eva the best smiling baby ever!

Just_Lin said...

LynnD I still haven't caught Roseanne's Nuts. Little Eva is sure to brighten anyone's day.

Just_Lin said...

Michael Love New Orleans!

Just_Lin said...

Pretty much avoid songs by Loretta....js

Shirley(NCC-1701) said...

Evening Michael, LynnD, Jodi and Just Lin! I'm glad I could educate yew today. As far as the accuracy of the story, I'm not sure about that. But it does sound good.

Michael said...

J/L...

You can watch Roseannes Nuts previous episodes on your PC at the shows website....

I suggest starting at the beginning.....she is hilarious in all of them....

Shirley(NCC-1701) said...

Michael do you live in a trailer park with a chicken coup in your back yard?

Shirley(NCC-1701) said...

I'm not trying to be rude or anything, Michael. But I thought I had read one time that you lived in a trailer, so I thought I would ask. The chicken coup I threw in cause you seen like a chicken person. I can see you naming them all and having a story to tell about each one. Just curious, nothing more. By the way I live in an old house converted into 6 apartments. I'm on the third floor.

Michael said...

Shirley...

Tina started me out in a trailer and now she has me in a assisted living home...

So no...I live in a regular house with no chickens....although I like chickens....I would love to have a farm with 2 of many things...cows...goats...pigs...horses...you know...like old MsDonald....lol

Shirley(NCC-1701) said...

OK, thanks for the info. Would you be a hands on farmer...pooper scooping, gathering eggs, milking the cows and goats, with coveralls, a straw hat and a piece of straw in you mouth?

Shirley(NCC-1701) said...

Or would you sit on your front porch in a rocking chair with a shotgun in your lap ready to shot the first varmint who dares sit foot on your farm (kind of like Grannie from the Beverley Hillbillies)?

Shirley(NCC-1701) said...

Thanks for your comments today. Good night.

Michael said...

I would have to have hired hands for the behind the scenes work...

I think of myself as a smarter Lisa from Green Acres....

It would be a very nice farm....swans...ducks....llamas...

Just_Lin said...

Hi, HOoters! I just returned from a nice dinner out. My friend was being installed as president of her club so it was a dressy dinner at a local restaurant. It was nice to have an excuse to get all dressed up. It was a little embarrassing, though, that I didn't at first recognize a couple that have been long time friends of hers, being as we all went on a cruise together in 2003. In my defense, I wasn't expecting to see them there as they live quite a ways away and I've only been around them for dinners on the cruise ship 8 years ago. Still, it was kind of embarrassing.

Just_Lin said...

My grandpa had chickens. When I was little, I accidentally dropped my pacifier next to the chicken coop and the chickens grabbed it and ran off with it, tearing it to bits. That was the end of me having a pacifier.