Pluck Yew!

Matthew R. Popalisky mpopali at
Sun Jan 12 13:35:48 PST 1997

On Fri, 10 Jan 1997, Deborah Sweet wrote:

> I thought the list would enjoy this bit of humor.      Estrill
> William.R.Zinsmeyer wrote:
> Over the years some 'folk etymologies' have grown up around this
> symbolic gesture.  Since 'pluck yew' is rather difficult to say (like
> "pleasant mother pheasant plucker", which is who you had to go to for
> the feathers used on the arrows), 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
> symbolic gesture is known as "giving the bird".
>        And yew all thought yew knew everything!

Is this true?

Smart-a**ed collector of weird tibits,

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