General Question

kcow's avatar

Who came up with using the middle finger as a vulgar gestur?

Asked by kcow (4points) May 15th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

20 Answers

Response moderated
Response moderated
dynamicduo's avatar

Seriously, give it ONE google shot and you’ll find this Wiki page:

Vincentt's avatar

I recall that “during the Hundred Years’ War, the French would cut off the middle fingers of captured English archers so they would be unable to use their bows, and that after the Battle of Agincourt, the victorious English showed the French that their middle fingers were still intact.” However, when I double-checked at Wikipedia it offers several alternative explanations(gesture) and as it supposedly is referred to in ancient documents the above explanation can’t be the only one.

spresto's avatar

Seriously, moderator. That was not inappropriate.

sakura's avatar

@Vincentt I heard that too!! I know that fcuk rearranged means fornicate under command of the king!!

oratio's avatar

@spresto Don’t know what you wrote, but if the first comment is not a serious attempt to an answer it is supposed to get moderated. Something that doesn’t always happen, though. It is a good rule.

shilolo's avatar

[mod says] Exactly what oratio said. It is clearly stated in the Fluther guidelines that flippant first answers will be removed (as they have a tendency to derail the thread from the start).

MissAnthrope's avatar

Ha, I was right (thanks, dynamicduo for the link). Ah, those Romans.

bezdomnaya's avatar

@sakura I’m confused: why would you rearrange it to fcuk in the first place?

bezdomnaya's avatar

@Vincentt I’ve heard the Hundred Years’ War thing was about the V sign as opposed to the finger which I handily didn’t learn about until after I came to the UK… that was slightly awkward when I used it on accident.

wenn's avatar

english archers had their middle fingers cut off so they could not use a bow anymore and then given the finger as an insult, as such the french had their middle fingers and the english didnt.

and yes. google has all answers.

Inkmando's avatar

I think it was the English.

Fred931's avatar

You have it bang-on. I remember visiting Warwick Castle with my family and being taught about it by the presenters. But they actually used
Both the index and the middle finger as the gesture, and not jus the middle finger. I guess it just kinda degenerated into just that one finger.

Vincentt's avatar

@sakura – hah, nice one :P

@bezdomnaya – I suppose it’s self-censorship :)

Also, the WIkipedia page I thought I linked to, but with which Fluther seems to have trouble [1], also says “This legend is more commonly said of the V sign.” :) I never knew the V sign was a rude gesture, though.

[1] It’s

sakura's avatar

@bezdomnaya I changed it to fcuk because I didn’t want to use the word correctly – using bad language and all that!

You needed to rearrage it yourself – not that the people in the past rearranged it!!!

sakura's avatar

@Vincentt THANKS!
Yup here in the UK the V sign is offensive
(if teh fingers are shown the other way round to the victory sign!!)

Vincentt's avatar

@sakura – I’ll be sure to remember that. It’s not something typical of the Netherlands, but I make that gesture (with a little… Inappropriate addition) to a friend of mine a lot. Come to think of it, he spent his fifth up until his eighth year in the US. Is it considered offensive there as well? :P

sakura's avatar

Not sure about the US. SORRY!

CMaz's avatar

My answer was removed. Fluther does not like humor I guess. I can’t say I invented the middle finger, though I did. It was an 18 century High sign. My grand father invented it.

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