Social Question

JilltheTooth's avatar

Does anyone know the origin of the phrase "flip someone the bird"?

Asked by JilltheTooth (19692points) August 11th, 2010

I know what the gesture is, I know what it means, I’ve done it myself a time or two, I just want to know why it’s called that. Why a “bird”?

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6 Answers

Dutchess_III's avatar

Because….flipping them the tortoise wouldn’t make any sense?

ucme's avatar

I heard somewhere that it’s something to do with actors from way back in the days of theatre. If they were no good the crowd would hiss at them, sort of like a goose. Hence “giving them the bird”. Flipping probably a derivative of this.No facts just a hunch.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@ucme : I like that! Sounds good even if it’s only conjecture.

@Dutchess_III : No, dear, “flipping the tortoise” is a euphemism for what you’re doing with your house these days… :-)))))

DominicX's avatar

I have no idea. But I looked up “flip the bird” on urbandictionary and it said “the act of rotating an avian creature through more than 90 degrees.”

That just cracks me up every time I think about it. :P

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JilltheTooth….this one has her head pulled in for now…..just trying to regroup….

@DominicX Eureka! Yeah! It looks like the Stealth Bomber if you point the extending finger, like, at a door or wall!

KatawaGrey's avatar

“A time or two”? Psht…

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