Social Question

TJFKAJ's avatar

What is the origin of “the Finger”?

Asked by TJFKAJ (265points) 1 week ago from iPhone

As in giving the finger as a derisive insult.
My parents understood it I think
I don’t as much

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9 Answers

janbb's avatar

Well, it means “f—k you” and I assume its origin is that it is a dramatic representation of the action.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Captured archers would get their middle finger cut off. It is a big f—k you to the opposing army, that they still have the middle fingers.

SavoirFaire's avatar

It’s an ancient Greek gesture that represents a phallus and implies/threatens penetration (which was considered degrading at the time).

@RedDeerGuy1 That is the putative origin of the V sign, not the finger. Also, the legend is that longbowmen had both their index and middle fingers cut off, not just the middle finger.

filmfann's avatar

Finger banging.

gondwanalon's avatar

Very nice. But why do they call it, “The Bird”? HA!

zenvelo's avatar

^^^^Because The Bird is The Word

SavoirFaire's avatar

“Giving the big bird” is an old expression from the mid-1800s for hissing at someone (like a goose). The phrase was eventually shortened to “giving the bird,” and it acquired a more generalized meaning of “showing contempt.” As hissing at people fell out of favor, presenting one’s middle finger became the dominant way of “giving the bird.” By the 1960s, “giving” had evolved into “flipping” in reference to how the hand moves when making the gesture.

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