The Origins Of The Middle Finger

Submitted by: piperfawn 6 years ago in Entertainment

Where does giving someone the finger come from? This chick Rachel gives us the facts. NSFWy.
There are 70 comments:
Female 129
Can she just get to the f*cking point of the video?
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Male 2,220
No hot girl has it pitched about right - cleavage is like pacman to a guys IQ.
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Female 404
hot girl should stop talking like she`s talking to 3 year olds
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Male 10,440

I win this thread
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Female 735
dratin annoying voice.
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Male 12,365
[quote">There`s actually no reference to it appearing within the British culture until the 1970s. [/quote">

Yes, there is. It appeared on film in the 1901, so it was clear that the gesture was commonly understood at least as far back as 1901.

There`s very little written about it until more recently because it was a crude, low-class gesture, but it is definitely far older than the 1970s.

The 1901 film is now publically available:

Workers at Parkgate steelworks, 1901.

At 1:02, you can very clearly see a worker giving a very obvious v-sign to the camera.

It`s no known how old the gesture is. It might be 19th century. It might be medieval. It might be Neolithic. But it was definitely well known by 1901.
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Male 12,365
The number of fingers wouldn`t necessarily be relevant. It does take three fingers (and a hell of a lot of strength) to draw a proper British war longbow, but it`s those two fingers that hold the arrow on a standard draw.

What`s more relevant is that French soldiers hated them, with very good reason. They would have cut their throats, not their fingers. Even if there was a ransom to be had, which there wasn`t.

Some longbows were preserved on the Mary Rose and copied after it was raised. The range of the strongest was 320 yards with a heavy war arrow. The historical claims of a range of 250 yards are clearly accurate. Up to 10 arrows a minute. Up to 10,000 archers. Arrows available by the million.

They were facing up to 100,000 yard-long arrows per minute massacring their fellow solders long before they could get in range with their own weapons. It was a horror.

If they caught the archers, they killed them.
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Male 12,365
[quote]The bit about the French and English is partly true, except we (English) raise two fingers (index and middle). It does indeed come from when the French used to chop off those two fingers of our longbow men.[/quote]

There is absolutely no evidence of that ever happening. Not a single piece of evidence.

The earliest record of prisoners of war being taken on a large scale in Europe or Britain is from the early 19th century, during the Napoleonic war.

Prior to that, prisoners of war were only taken if they were wealthy enough to ransom (or, in much earlier times, for slavery). Archers in English armies were relatively well treated, but they were still commoners who were not rich and therefore couldn`t be ransomed. It`s far more likely that they would just be killed, all the more so because English archers were every bit as unpopular in France as you`d expect during the wars. English archery was a weapon of mass destruction.
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Male 219
Tits or GTFO
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Male 7,123
Boring and badly researched.
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Male 79
1- saw it was a video, thought about closing the tab without watching;
2- noticed it featured a cute girl, decided to watch;
3- heard her voice, decided again to close the tab.
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Male 2,056
flatline.
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Male 5,413
This



was pretty boring.
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Male 2,220
@samsquanch I`m going to twirl my pinky at the next 10 people that offend me (or vice versa, as it might speed up proceedings). Will b worth if for sheer wtf value.
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Female 162
slow, boring, not worth watching.
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Male 792
So, the next thing you`re going to tell me is that drat is short for fornicating under consent of king, or that poo means ship high in transit.
Gestures, like language, doesn`t really have an origin...it just happens. Person A decides he has more culture than Person B, and Person B agrees...so Person A`s ideas are impressed on Person B.
I could decide that flashing the pinky finger, and twirling it is offensive...if enough people worship me as an idol, they`ll agree, and it will be a cultural obscenity.
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Male 79
I`d let her sit on my middle finger any day.
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Male 2,419
@CallofKtulu
It`s placed perfectly on my font/window size and that`s all I care about.
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Male 14,331
UGLY!?!?! Some people geez picky picky the dirty librarian doing it for me plus she`s got nice legs.
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Male 6,694
Slow. . . .
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Female 2,525
That was actually interesting, but way too slow.
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Male 506
The video is too slow.
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Male 2,220
Samsqua..

There was a strategy of taking prisoners, mostly toffs for ransom. Realising the true worth of a bunch of French toffs, Henry V ordered them all slaughtered during the battle of Agincourt.

Three fingers are the recommended for drawing on a yew longbow, losing two of those three would be enough to stop you firing a strong bow right? The French probably didn`t realise you needed three cos they had tiny little girlie bows, which was why they were such crap archers ;)
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Male 792
...um...hate to break it to you, dazza, but, no it doesn`t. Firstly, longbow men would have been worthless to the French army. There was no concept of keeping prisoners back then. Secondly, it takes three fingers to draw a bow, not two.
There`s actually no reference to it appearing within the British culture until the 1970s.

Citation
And another citation
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Male 594
Haha, she`s cute. Which probably makes this funnier
than it really is.
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Male 27
The bit about the French and English is partly true, except we (English) raise two fingers (index and middle). It does indeed come from when the French used to chop off those two fingers of our longbow men.
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Female 336
Hehe...educational and funny!

Now she said she does requests, so I have one:

GET A F^#@IN` BACKGROUND FOR THAT FISH TANK!

Thank you. That is all.
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Male 400
Glorious boobage!!
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Male 144
Wait... Boobalicious chickie kneeling in the living room touching her breasts with one hand and with the other sticking a (prostate) finger out vieing for my undivided attention... I`m sorry, I didn`t hear a friggin word she said.
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Male 245
She sounds like something I would hear on my answering machine where they pause to insert some original content into the gridded speech. I agree with I-IS-BORED, however misplaced his arrow is.
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Male 120
hot for an ugly chick is what they mean.
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Male 749
Looks like someone just figured out how to use Wikipedia
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Male 373
she soooooooooooooooooooooooo wears a vneck tanktop thing on purpose. She`s trying to be entertaining and exciting but it`s not working.
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Male 2,419
Coulda been funny/interesting, but she sucks balls at speaking. But she`s probably better at that -^
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Male 3,631
Hot for Nerds?
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Male 251
The urban legend is so much better. Pluck Yew, truth! Besides, everyone knows all obscenities originated in Rome.
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Male 294
did you get the impression she was reading that from a cue card?

The... middle... finger... actually... goes... back...

ugh.
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Male 275
she`s beautiful but I couldn`t really bear to watch this.
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Male 39,593
my eyes glazed over and I quit listening
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Male 25,417
Silly not cool!
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Male 176
nice boobs, but she is hella annoying
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Male 864
She has a super annoying way of speaking... Also, "faylick."
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Male 1,083
she picked her nose then fingered her mouth. ewwww! grossss! sicckkkkkk!
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Male 3,894
Shut up. God. Sick of you.

"Haha! I`m showing my middle finger on video! This is HILARIOUS!"
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Male 5,148
Males of IAB don`t you find this girl incredibly erotic?
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Male 1,587
pretty annoying, but great eye candy. nice legs. =D
4:02 how the hell did she get in my medicine cabinet!?
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Male 695
Did you guys see Michael Jacksons ghost at 2:28? Oh, and DAYUM that girl was annoying as hell!
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Male 2,033
She talks really slowly and it is annoying.


also, she said phallic like a moron. It is \ˈfa-lik\
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Male 20
gotta love this girl....lmao
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Male 117
wow that is the most annoying video i`ve seen in a while. she talks so slow and repeating this like it`s a third grade oral report. not educating or entertaining
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Male 2,229
it`s suppose to represent a dick, as in `your a dick` for cussing, but with your hand instead...
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Male 2,402
Someone has been reading up on their Mental Floss magazine.
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Male 12,365
To clarify some more:

The V-sign with the back of your hand towards the person you`re targetting is much older than the reverse, whether used as a peace sign or a victory sign.

The origin of it is unknown. Although there`s no reason to think it was a response to threats from French soldiers and it`s not likely that such threats would be made (English and Welsh archers were commoners, so they would probably have just been killed), the origin might lie with English or Welsh archers. Those two fingers would be either side of the arrow when the bow was drawn. Or it might come from something else.
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Male 5,148
_|_
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Male 5,194
Annoying goddamn C*NT!!!
Takes FOREVER, turns out she doesn`t even know.
Thinks she`s being cute.
Barf.
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Male 47
id just like to clarify that the urban legend about the british archers and the french applies to showing someone the back of your hand and raising both your middle and index fingers in a `V` shape, the exact reverse of the famous chirchills `V for Victory` during world war 2. although she is right in saying that it is false.
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Male 1,625
She`s hot but also annoying. The plight of hot chicks...
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Male 12,365
Well, I watched the video. She was so annoying that I clicked ahead past the intro and stopped with a sigh of relief when I saw her confidently stating that the origin was Rome and that was over 2000 years ago.

Nearer 3000, but that`s a minor point.

We don`t know what the Roman gesture was.

We don`t know if that unknown Roman gesture was started by them or if they got it from an earlier society.
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Female 1,008
She sounds like a 9 year old giving a school presentation.
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Male 12,365
I can`t be bothered to watch the video, so would someone tell me what she`s claiming as the origin?

Nobody can be sure of the origin. It`s not the sort of thing that was noted down. Either it was considered inappropriate to mention such crude gestures at all (e.g. most of British history) or it was so commonplace that it wasn`t seen as being necessary to describe what it actually was (e.g. the Roman finger gesture they called digitus impudens).
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Male 15,510
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Male 2,049
I request you show us your tits.
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Female 737
YAWN. Trying to make a video about something just so you can try to show off your non-existent cleavage is sad.
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Female 49
She sounds like a moron.
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Male 9,305
The ending was really cute. She`s adorable. XD
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Male 10,855
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Female 470
My cat got pretty offended as I was making the hand gestures along with the video. She kept giving me that, "Well, I never!" look.

...which could also be translated as, "If you stick your hand up in the air one more time, I will pounce on it and EAT IT! OM NOM NOM!"

=D
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Male 352
The Russian way of flipping people off is way better. You use both your arms and cross them.
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Female 547
Ew, she mispronounced phallic.
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Male 5,148
Link: The Origins Of The Middle Finger [Rate Link] - Where does giving someone the finger come from? This chick Rachel gives us the facts. NSFWy.
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