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post #1 of 11 Old 08-31-2003, 4:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Another old tail

The History of 'The Finger'



Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the
French, anticipating
victory

over the English, and 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. English soldiers, therefore,
would be incapable of
fighting

in the future.



This famous weapon 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! 'PLUCK
YEW!' Since 'pluck yew'
is

rather difficult to say, the difficult
consonant cluster at the
beginning

has gradually changed to a labiodental
fricative 'F', and thus the
words

often used in conjunction with the
one-finger-s! alute are mistakenly

thought to have something to do with an
intimate encounter.



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 everything
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-31-2003, 4:15 PM
 
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Re: Another old tail

Is that for real? If so, pretty cool. If not, quit phuckin' with my head
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-31-2003, 5:05 PM
 
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Re: Another old tail

Frenchies couldn't fight then either huh?!
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-31-2003, 5:18 PM
 
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Re: Another old tail

true or not, that is still a good story.
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-31-2003, 5:43 PM
 
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Re: Another old tail

Really tried to keep out but felt I had to respond to this thread. Sorry for disappointing you.

Well it's pretty close to the truth but has been twisted for an American audience.

During the Hundred Years war, the French were in the habit of removing the first two fingers of any captured English bowman. They were unable to pull back the string on the bow and thus out of the game.

So when the armies lined up at Agincourt the Brit bowman got into the habit of sticking their finger up in the air at the French in 'V' sign, back of the hand towards the enemy, to demonstrate that they were up for a fight. Kind of like this emoticon but with attitude

And amazingly it has remained in use to this day. We don't use the 'swivel on it sign' although it is understood as an insult, but 'flick a V' at someone. Pretty insulting, not used in good company. You'd do it to a cager that cuts you up for sure.

Do note though that it is not to be confused with th 'V for victory' sign as favoured by Winston Churchill, which is the same gesture but with the palm of the hand outwards. Get it wrong and you might end up with a samck across the chops.

As far as I know, the 'Pluck Yew' and 'give the bird' bit is nonsense.

I'll be off now.

TTFN
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-31-2003, 5:47 PM
 
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Re: Another old tail

OK, we've lured one of them back . Haha, I knew you guys couldn't stay away long - the forum is like crack!
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-31-2003, 6:15 PM
 
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Re: Another old tail

Good story, and thanks for the historical background Proto ( nice to see we didn't chase you off)

Along the same lines, I heard that a couple hundred years ago, the French and the Brits were going at it, and a wounded, captured British officer was being interrogated by the French. At the end of the interview, the one of the French officers asked him, 'Why do your officers wear Red Coats into battle? It just makes it easier for us to pick you off..'

The Englishman explained that officers in the Brit army always wore red so that when they were wounded, it disguised the blood, and therefore their troops would not be inclined to panic.

And so, from that day on, French officers have always worn brown pants.
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-31-2003, 6:28 PM
 
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Re: Another old tail

I think I'll have to go with Proto's story on this one.....after all he is probably old enough to have first hand knowledge...





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"There is a grey blur, and a green blur. I try to stay on the grey one..." - Joey Dunlop
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-31-2003, 6:48 PM
 
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Re: Another old tail

Quote:
CBRVFR : The Englishman explained that officers in the Brit army always wore red so that when they were wounded, it disguised the blood, and therefore their troops would not be inclined to panic.

And so, from that day on, French officers have always worn brown pants.

Do unto others, before some prick does it to you!

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post #10 of 11 Old 08-31-2003, 6:49 PM
 
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Re: Another old tail

Thought I'd better check my facts and came up with this

V sign: Although the V sign isn't an expression, its apparent origin is so intriguing that I thought that it deserved mention. The sign, using two raised fingers in a gesture of contempt or anger, is widely understood in Britain, but hardly recognised in some other English speaking countries; e.g. USA. The certain origin is unknown, but a highly likely basis takes us back to the Hundred Years' War between England and France in the 14th and 15th centuries. Captured ‘English' archers who, it seems, were actually mainly Welsh, had the first two fingers of their right hand cut off so that they couldn't take part in future battles. As a defiant riposte, after felling a French soldier with an arrow, an archer would raise his two fingers, just to show that he was still in the game. The battle where this first happened was likely to have been Crécy in 1346.

From this site :

Link

Check out some of the origins of expressions. Really intersting stuff.

Baketech, no I wasn't there but my brother The Black Prince (of Darkness?) was, at Crecy anyway, and he told me all about it.



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post #11 of 11 Old 08-31-2003, 6:54 PM
 
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Re: Another old tail

For peaceful folk, you lot sure have had your share of war and killing....

I did not visit Crecy.....but I got a kick out of Bodium....

Sith Apprentice
CBR929 - VFR800 - VFR800
"There is a grey blur, and a green blur. I try to stay on the grey one..." - Joey Dunlop
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