close

Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

History of the bird

Discussion in 'The Lighter Side' started by okie, Oct 8, 2003.

  1. okie

    okie GT Mayor

    Messages:
    64,670
    Likes Received:
    1,546
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    Muskogee Ok.
    Just before the famous battle of Agincourt between the French and the English in 1415, the former, anticipating victory, 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 be incapable of fighting in the future.

    Now, the weapon was made of wood from the 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!

    Linguists feel that since 'pluck yew' is rather awkward to pronounce, 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-salute are mistakenly thought to have something to do with an intimate encounter.
     
  2. commander

    commander

    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2000
    Location:
    Ca., USA

  3. pfrigm

    pfrigm

    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2001
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Hee hee... love those urban legends. This one in particular, because it started on that great radio show "Car Talk".

    The "Archer's Salute" actually involved the first TWO fingers on the right hand (the ones used to draw the bow) in what could best be described as a reverse "peace sign" (palm facing the giver). The French (according to chroniclers) DID threaten to cut off the fingers (notice the plural) of any archer they captured prompting the English Yeoman to show their FINGERS in this "famous" salute/taunt. The notion of the linguistic change from "pluck yew" to the more modern connotation of that symbol also does not seem to bear any factual context.