Well, now ...... here's something I never knew before, and now that I know it, I feel compelled to pass 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."

And yew thought yew knew every pluckin' thing!




Jack K. said...

Well, that is a very shocking posting. LMAO.


Karen said...

jack~ *giggle* it's pluckin' fun i tell ya... FuN!!

Jolynn said...

That is hilarious. Is it true?? :) Have a great weekend.

puppytoes said...

this is hilarious! tho' i understood the history of the whole "middle finger" gesture thing to be a little different:

in Greek mythology, the middle finger was known as the Jupiter/Saturn Finger, which symbolized the phallus. in ancient Rome, male prostitutes would stick their middle digit into their hair to signal potential customers that they were "open for business". then, in Medieval times, the Church identified it as the Digitus Infamis or Obscenus, aka "the obscene finger" (early Christians considered it evil to wear a ring on this finger given its sexual significance)

that said... the history you gave makes perfect sense... especially if they were predisposed to think the finger was "plucking evil", in the first place!! not to mention the "YEW" part!! too funny!!

(as for the other stuff...what can i say? my sister wrote a book about penises & vaginas a few years ago... and i edited it!)

this is the BEST place to come for a hearty laugh at the end of a long week! thanks for the fun lesson, karen... can't wait to share it with my sis! : D

Karen said...

jolynn~ received it from a reliable source, but haven't googled yet to check it out... it wez jes too pluckin' funny to dispel!

puppytoes~ "my sister wrote a book about penises & vaginas a few years ago... and i edited it!"...

...oh, okay, now all the *pieces of the puzzle* are startin' to take place, like how come you know so much more about those subjects than i do! {grin}

please, when you return here, give 'inquiring minds' the name of your sister's book so we can go out and buy it! :)

and one more thing, ah, how did you and your sister *research* those subjects; it sounds like i missed out on a hellva lot of fun! Da-mn!! tee, hee!!

CROAK said...

What is wrong with the French?
Tsk tsk.
The picture of Georgie is so more appropriate to the story.

Hale McKay said...

Wow - that plucked up my head!

...by the way, Karen, thanks for letting me know about the comments on my last blog. (Duh) Forgot to turn the comments on. It's fixed.

Ah, you made the same Bush stamp I made. I linked the stamp maker site, but I didn't think anybody read my "Talking Pictures" post. That was the night Blogger was all "plucked up."

And of course, if you turn hand sideways making the gesture, it means "...and the horse you rode in on."

Karen said...

croak~ Georgie and the *finger* sorta go together, eh!?! :)

Mike (hale mckay)~ my bad! i *stole* your stamp from over at your place!! {grin}

Merle said...

Hi Karen ~~ Very interesting post, and
it sounds as though it could be true.
Thanks for your comments and glad you like the posts. Cheers, Merle.

puppytoes said...

actually, my sister is a marriage & family counselor and licensed sex therapist... she taught human sexuality for about 18 years in a university in california then she did TV, then she wrote a book, now she works as a life coach. and, if ya really want the book, i'll be happy to send you a copy! my treat! (just let me know...)

but, yes, i guess it does help explain a few things... hee hee!

have a FABULOUS weekend, girlfriend. i'll look forward to your monday meme!! (ps... read the rolling stone article by RFK, jr. this month... here's a link to that, as well. it will SO piss you off--could be a good topic for your next round?) : D

Jack K. said...

Arrrrgh. I just checke out the RFK, jr. link. puppytoes is right this should piss of everyone, including the Pope.

We will all have to be more vigilant for the next election.

I just hope the DNC doesn't even think about stooping so low.

BoBo Banjoey said...

Most interesting post read today! Love the story...hope it's true cause it would make flippin the bird so much more meaningful!


sage said...

Pretty funny!

Fred said...

I wish I knew this when I lived in France.

Karen said...

merle~ cheers backacha!

puppytoes~ wow! you and your sister are two spunky ladies! i would lovelovelove to have a copy of her book and would gladly pay for it... please let me know.

and, btw, you'll want to be sure to stop by tomorrow's Monday Meme! took ya up on yer suggestion, girlfriend!! and, THANK YOU!!

jack~ "DNC doesn't even think about stooping so low"...

...as much as i'm *one of them* i wouldn't count on it, seems like most politicians think alike, unfortunately.

joel~ i so 'flippin' agree with ya! :)

sage~ gotta have some *yuks* once in a while, eh!?! {giggle}

fred~ it woulda been a very useful tool, =snicker=