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Sunday, February 16, 2020

The History of the Middle Finger: the “Fuck You” Sign

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You probably haven’t given someone the middle finger before, but I can’t deny the fact that I’m guilty. Sometimes my victims might be looking other times they might not.


But the feeling of indirectly telling them what I would have loved to say to them to their face gives me some sort of satisfaction.

The middle finger has become a big deal to a lot of people but have you ever bothered to figure out where it started from and how it came to be? As you read further, you would get to learn all the facts about the history of the middle finger and its meaning.

Origin of the middle finger gesture

The middle finger had existed as long as the ancient times of Greece that is in Rome during that time when ever you wanted to disrespect someone you would raise the middle finger which is almost the same thing as what we do today. Nevertheless back then in the ancient Greece.

The meaning of the middle finger was deeper than just disrespect. Raising the middle finger obviously resembles a penis and with the rest of the fingers folded into the knuckle to represent the testicles.

The big question is why in the world would the Romans or greeks want to pirate the symbols of a penis around, the answer to that question isn’t a difficult one they basically just wanted to degrade intimidate and sometimes threaten the recipient of the sign.

One would think that is all but in a short period the middle finger gesture began to take an evil nature and orphan was compared to giving someone the evil eye like people who believed in it in the Mediterranean.

It was believed that the time that the middle finger and the evil eye were associated with putting a hex or curse on a person it also meant that you wished to bring them misery and bad luck.

The middle finger also took on a Latin term digitus impusicus. Digitus impusicus means indecent, shameless or offensive finger.

In all of this, the moral lesson of the story is that the middle finger even as far back as the role of the ancient Greek and Roman empire never added up to anything good, and that explains why it has been able to penetrate different cultures and has worked hard enough not to go into extinction year after year decade after decade century after century.


Nicknames for the middle finger

The middle finger to a lot of us might mean fuck you but there are several other names that it goes by or rather has gone by in the course of history:

  • Flipping the bird
  • Tossing the stick
  • Middle salute

How it became cool to flip the middle finger?

while keeping the middle finger always carries a negative meaning a few decades ago things sort of turned around and it became cool to flip the middle finger.

In an attempt to make the gesture enjoy some amount of justice younger generation began to give each other the middle finger as a way to fool around or even say hi to each other sometimes instead of saying “just joking”, you could flip your friend off.

They tried so hard that it got to a point where flipping the middle finger became linked to political correctness as some people did it to show a sign for longing for peace.

Things turned around for the better yet again when fashion artists around the world began to take an interest in this very interpreting sign which is why you can easily buy a clothing of making mouse giving the middle finger or birds giving the “fuck you” sign. Or even buy a necklace with the middle finger as a pendant and call it a statement jewelry which people would see as something cool whenever you dress up wearing it.

How flipping the middle finger became political?

Giving the middle finger also evolved to become a symbol of political protest and it has remained so in recent times.

Some people decided that the best way to protect a wall was to flip off reporters with the middle finger as if to tell them no way to war as a matter of fact several years ago a singer named Ricky martin was photograph given the one-time us president President Bush the bird during one of his concerts after he declared war in Iraq.

People in the united states of America and not the only ones who have been discovered to use the symbol as a sign of war protest. It has been documented that people in Siberia as well as other countries have given the us embassy the middle finger.

The middle finger find its way into pop culture

Artists especially in the 21st century as seen flipping their pictures and even in their music videos some people even took it so seriously that a band called cobra starship went ahead to make a song called the middle finger which had a lot of people featured in it music video making the gesture.

During a photo shoot, Hollywood actress Cameron Diaz was seen giving the middle finger, and a lot of people began to view the photo as sexy.


Why most celebrities especially singers and actors can get away giving this lewd gesture, some other people men get reprimanded for doing the same thing.

Athletes most especially have suffered punishments for giving the middle finger especially jack McDowell, Stefan, Effenberg, and Bryan cox among several others have been suspended from their sporting activities just because they use the middle finger and they got caught in the act.

Famous music artists Iggy Azalea and Britney Spears have also flipped off paparazzi by giving them the middle finger after they were being followed and taunted even though the later had to apologize since their fans were not entirely comfortable with the act.

Several other musicians and actors having unapologetic about giving paparazzi or some people the middle finger even when they use on their album covers people like kid rock in his album devil without a cause was seen giving the middle finger on the album cover.

The use of the middle finger today

Middle Finger

Today a lot of adults as seen using the gesture when they are upset or when they are driving when a driver is upset with another driver being reckless on the road you always see them giving the middle finger as a sign of their displeasure and distaste.

Even rebellious children are caught once in a while giving the middle finger as a sign of their independence even though they might be caught and punished by their parents it still doesn’t change the fact that the nasty attitude is going viral and children like that and not about to stop it any time soon.

The middle finger, though with a sinister connotation has become one of the most widely used gestures especially in the 21st century. And even though we have tried as much as possible to make it cool to use the middle finger, it has decided to stick to his ancient to root of being threatening and offensive.

So the next time someone gives you the middle finger. you probably will be considering giving them a punch in the face because now you know how it all started and why it started in the first place.

What are your thoughts on the origin of the middle finger and how it is being used? feel free to share with us on the comment section.


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