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History of the Dirty Finger

August 10, 2011

Did you ever wonder how the “Dirty Finger” became a dirty gesture? We often see it when someone gets mad, or someone is provoking someone. We also hear the famous “F word” while waving the dirty finger. But believe it or not, there’s a history behind it? Let me tell you something I found out!


Back in 1415, there’s a war between the French and English soldiers and it was called “The Battle in Agincourt”. French soldiers were so confident that they will defeat the English soldiers so they thought of cutting the middle fingers of their enemies if will capture them. English soldiers are good archers, and in archery the middle finger is used to draw the longbow they use. The longbow which the Native English used was made from the Yew Tree, and the act of drawing this longbow was known as “plucking the yew” or “pluck yew”…sounds familiar?

The French soldiers were defeated, and then these English soldiers began mocking them by waving their middle finger while saying “See, we can still PLUCK YEW!”

This term evolved to a new word, omitting “PL” and replacing them with “F”, that’s how the “F word” was born. The dirty finger gesture also evolves to something dirtier, the middle finger was perceived as something similar to the male genitals. That’s how this gesture became a taboo.

Now we know!


Leave a Reply

17 responses to "History of the Dirty Finger"

  1. Semidoppel says:

    Dude, thanks sa correction sa post ko. Tama ka may mali nga instead na English eh Americans ang nilagay ko. My Bad! Sorry sorry

  2. ShimmZ says:

    Walangjo… year 1415?? hindi pa nga nadidiscover ang america nung panahon na yun eh!! French vs England!!! During the hundred years war!! ENgland hindi American! niwala naman kagad kau!

  3. Semidoppel says:

    Yeah ako nga po si John Philip! I’ll add you too on my blog roll!..subscribe k n din ^_^

  4. Zen says:

    Ahahaha.. I know your name na.. Mr. John Philip.. hehe. Someone once told me that the “f” words comes from the german word “fricken” which means to strike.
    But this one is indeed interesting! Makes sense!
    By the way, I added you in my blog roll, so I can get to read your posts. Good day! :)

  5. Semidoppel says:

    UU tama un un. Pluck Yew Din! ^_^

  6. Jaja says:

    Yun pala yun. hahaha 😀 Nakakaintriga naman kung saan nanggaling yung meaning 😉 haha


  7. Semidoppel says:

    Hahaha naintriga ako kaya niresearch ko.Thanks sa pagdalaw!

  8. Tj says:

    Nung nabasa ko to natawa talaga ako. Pluck yew haha!

  9. Blobber Boy says:

    so that’s the history of the dirty finger, thanks for sharing this. by the way hope you could visit my blog also thanks and maybe we could do some xlinks if you want.

  10. Semidoppel says:

    Thanks Sir Bennix!

  11. Semidoppel says:

    ayus no..ganda ng history

  12. bennix says:

    hahaha.I read the whole post pre, nice trevia…:)

  13. helena says:

    hahaha such rich historical background for a really derogatory expression! hahaha. ang galing! ayus!

  14. Semidoppel says:

    Wow nice to know…hahah ung F Word may sarili din ako kwento..gawa gawa lng pero itong post n to based on fatcs

  15. Kat says:

    Intersting… good to know! 😀

  16. Ane says:

    We have a book that has this trivia in it.. 😀 Search mo din ung origin ng F word mismo, it’s awesome. 😀