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Thread: Middle Finger Pointing?

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    Middle Finger Pointing?

    This may sound dumb or irrelevant, but is pointing with the middle finger a German thing? I sometimes point to objects or push buttons with my middle instead of index finger.

    My brother said he heard somewhere (I don't remember now) that it was a "German thing"

    any thoughts?

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    I daresay it's a Christian (perhaps Catholic) thing, but I'm not a 100% sure on this. It represents the cuckold.

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    Heard of waving with a middle finger, but never pointing. lol

    After reading this thread title I decided to give it a try and I can't do it due to tendon damage in my right middle finger (partially severed the finger my senior year of high school). lol

    I'm interested to see where this behavior is most common.
    Lineage migration - Hatfield, Yorkshire, England ->Stainforth, Yorkshire, England ->Whitgift, Yorkshire, England->Blacktoft, Yorkshire, England->Mecklenburg County, Virginia ->Rutherford County, North Carolina ->Overton County, Tennessee.

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    My uncle tends to point with his middle finger. He is Catholic and German...

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    I do this a lot, especially when pointing to close objects (such as things on a table.)

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    I've never seen anyone doing this to be honest.
    And the day they sold us out, Our hearts grew cold
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    What do they know of Europe, Who only Europe know?



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    Quote Originally Posted by Juthunge View Post
    I've never seen anyone doing this to be honest.
    Yes indeed, same here. I live in a heavily catholic area and I´ve never seen someone pointing with the middle finger. So it can´t be neither a German nor a catholic thing.

    "Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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    It's an English thing, as during warfare with the French the English Longbowmen were feared by every French soldier on the field, so much that when one was captured they would cut off their middle finger so they could no longer fire their bow as well, and as such the English stuck their middle finger out as a sign of defience to mean "Come and take it Frog!".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadski View Post
    It's an English thing, as during warfare with the French the English Longbowmen were feared by every French soldier on the field, so much that when one was captured they would cut off their middle finger so they could no longer fire their bow as well, and as such the English stuck their middle finger out as a sign of defience to mean "Come and take it Frog!".

    Fun fact of the day
    Here is a bit more info on that:

    Truth About the Finger

    In the film Titanic the character Rose is shown giving the finger to Jack, another character. Many people who have seen the film question whether "giving the finger" was done around the time of the Titanic disaster, or was it a more recent gesture invented by some defiant seventh-grader. According to research, here's the true story:

    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 [soldiers would] be incapable of fighting in the future. This famous weapon was made of the native English yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as "plucking the 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!"

    Over the years some "folk etymologies" have grown up around this symbolic gesture. Since "pluck yew" is rather difficult to say, like "pheasant mother plucker," which is who you had to go to for the feathers used on the arrows for the longbow, 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. It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows that the gesture is known as "giving the bird."

    And yew all thought yew knew everything!
    Then there is this:

    The "one-finger salute," or at any rate sexual gestures involving the middle finger, are thousands of years old. In Gestures: Their Origins and Distribution, Desmond Morris and colleagues note that the digitus infamis or digitus impudicus (infamous or indecent finger) is mentioned several times in the literature of ancient Rome. Turning to our vast classical library, we quickly turn up three references. Two are from the epigrammatist Martial: "Laugh loudly, Sextillus, when someone calls you a queen and put your middle finger out."

    (The verse continues: "But you are no sodomite nor fornicator either, Sextillus, nor is Vetustina's hot mouth your fancy." Martial, and Roman poets in general, could be pretty out there, subject-matter-wise. Another verse begins: "You love to be sodomized, Papylus . . .")

    In the other reference Martial writes that a certain party "points a finger, an indecent one, at" some other people. The historian Suetonius, writing about Augustus Caesar, says the emperor "expelled [the entertainer] Pylades . . . because when a spectator started to hiss, he called the attention of the whole audience to him with an obscene movement of his middle finger." Morris also claims that the mad emperor Caligula, as an insult, would extend his middle finger for supplicants to kiss.

    It's not known whether one displayed the digitus infamis in the same manner that we (well, you) flip the bird today. In another of his books Morris describes a variety of sexual insults involving the middle finger, such as the "middle-finger down prod," the "middle-finger erect," etc., all of which are different from the classic middle-finger jerk. But let's not quibble. The point is, the middle-finger/phallus equation goes back way before the Titanic, the Battle of Agincourt, or probably even that time Sextillus cut off Pylades with his chariot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kadski View Post
    It's an English thing, as during warfare with the French the English Longbowmen were feared by every French soldier on the field, so much that when one was captured they would cut off their middle finger so they could no longer fire their bow as well, and as such the English stuck their middle finger out as a sign of defience to mean "Come and take it Frog!".

    Fun fact of the day
    Always took that to be the "wave" not necessarily pointing.
    Lineage migration - Hatfield, Yorkshire, England ->Stainforth, Yorkshire, England ->Whitgift, Yorkshire, England->Blacktoft, Yorkshire, England->Mecklenburg County, Virginia ->Rutherford County, North Carolina ->Overton County, Tennessee.

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