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Kire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 01:50 PM
Original message
History Lesson
Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, anticipating victory
over the English, 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 and therefore they would be incapable of
fighting in the future. This famous English longbow 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!" Since 'pluck yew'is rather
difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has
gradually changed to a labiodentals fricative F', and thus the words often
used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute! 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."
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Aristus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
1. Okay, is this supposed to be funny?
Everything is wrong with this anecdote that could be wrong with it.

If it's a joke fine. If not, here are some of the inaccuracies:

'Fuck you' does not have its roots in 'pluck yew'. 'Fuck' originated from the Dutch word 'fuchen', meaning "to poke".

The English 'fuck you' sign is not the middle finger, but a palm-inward two-finger sign.

Although this story has long been credited as the origin of the two-finger (not middle finger, see above) sign, it has lately been discredited. Many historical debunkers, including Snopes and the Straight Dope have remarked that no contemporary evidence exists for the veracity of this story. It is evidently a colorful historical legend with no verifiable basis in fact.

BTW, about "the bird", I have no idea of the origins of this, so I can't comment with any confidence.
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Kire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Yeah, it's supposed to be funny.
I removed the part about how "it is still appropriate to treat the French this way", because that's freeper talk. It was a forwarded email. I thought it was cute.

I recognize that there are dozens of theories about the origin of FU. My apologies if I have offended.
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Aristus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. No, you didn't offend me. I was just rattled by what seemed to be
a staggering lack of historical knowledge. Now that I know it originated with some shovel-brained freeper, I don't mind so much.

Although, the line that you excised would have offended me; I get so sick and tired of French-bashing. They are our oldest and most loyal ally. Anybody remember that we fought TWO wars with Great Britain? And now with even Republicans acknowledging that Iraq is going to hell in a handbasket, the French opposition to the war is starting to look not so bad, isn't it?
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
2. An alternate theory.
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