Pluck Yew!

eric caladin at
Sun Jan 12 16:53:38 PST 1997

WHen I was living in germany, I was told the same story about the british
two finger'd flipping off gesture, without the "pluck yew" part of it...

As the archers walked by, they showed off the two fingers threatened to be
cut off.

And I heard the same story several times about the two fingered "salute"
perhaps it's urban legend...


>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,
 Caladin Ironhearth Esq.             |   Eric W. Brown
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