History of the Dirty Finger

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!


17 thoughts on “History of the Dirty Finger”

  1. 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!

  2. 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! 🙂

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