giving the finger!  

redmustang91 57M  
8704 posts
8/4/2006 3:25 pm
giving the finger!

The trad gesture of flippin the bird is also funny. Wikipedia to the rescue:

In western cultures, the finger, as in giving someone the finger, is a popularly known obscene hand gesture made by extending the middle finger of the hand while bending the other fingers at the second knuckle. The finger is a silent way of saying "fuck you".

The gesture is also known as "the bird", "flipping the bird", "you're number one", "the one-finger salute", "the highway salute", "flipping or flicking (someone) off", "showing someone the middle finger", "digital signalling", "thumbs up plus 2", "the good-bye salute", or "the Trudeau/Salmon Arm salute" (in Canada).

In the United States the gesture, which is often accompanied by a verbal insult ("fuck you" or "up yours" being quite common) is generally considered very offensive – perhaps even more so when the gesture is made using both hands, or when accompanied by a vigorous upward motion of the hand and forearm. In Arab countries, a similar gesture with fingers pointing downwards is just as insulting because it is an implication of impotence.

In Asia, notably in Hong Kong or Singapore whose cultures are westernised, the gesture is also a taboo. In Germany (where it is known as "der Stinkefinger"), showing it to an individual can be considered as an insult and theoretically is punishable with a fine of up to a month's income. Enforcement of this law is nearly unknown, however, since obtaining definitive photographic evidence of such a spontaneous moment is nearly impossible.

In Portugal, Brazil and Colombia, this sign is made holding the big finger straight between the other bending fingers. The two bent fingers closest to the big one stand for the testicles.

In China, contrary to the offensive nature of the gesture in other cultures, Chinese Sign Language used by the deaf of China employ this handshape to represent the first born male, a position of status in traditional Chinese culture.

In some Mediterranean countries and much of Asia, it is permissible to use the middle finger to point to something (on a written page for example) and some Western cultures often tolerate the use of the middle finger to point to things. In North America, while tolerated, it is considered bad form to point with the middle finger, and instructors or speakers who inadvertently do so are often greeted with giggles and snickers from their uncomfortable students or audience.

Famous examples
In 1968, captured crewmembers of the USS Pueblo (AGER-2) used a discreet version of the finger as a covert signal of "obscene derisiveness and contempt" (quoted from a newspaper caption) in propaganda photos taken by their North Korean captors. [2] The gesture was explained to the North Koreans as 'the Hawaiian Good Luck sign'.

In Canada, showing the middle finger is sometimes called the Trudeau salute after Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau because of a famous photo of him giving the finger to protesters in Salmon Arm, British Columbia. He had also used the gesture in the Canadian House of Commons. Prior to becoming Premier of Alberta, Ralph Klein was caught on camera giving the finger to a protestor.

In some subcultures in the United States, it is known as the 'one fingered victory salute' which gained popularity after this video appeared on the Internet in October 2004, showing George W. Bush, at the time of the film the Governor of Texas, using the gesture while goofing off before beginning filming of a public address.

In one Strong Bad email on the Homestar Runner website, a fan asks strong Bad if it is hard to flip someone off, and Strong Bad proceeds to do so, although his hand is actually a boxing glove, and is, therefore, not visible. He goes through three different variations (traditional, behind the back, and "around the world", which is twirling the hand around in a circle) before ending with his now-infamous 'double deuce', which is both hands giving the same gesture. Pom-pom also joins in, but he has no fingers. After Strong Bad 'flips off' Homestar Runner himself, Homestar gleefully returns the favor, despite the fact that he has no arms at all. Strong Bad suddenly acts offended and sorry.

Silent film comedian Harold Lloyd can be clearly seen giving the finger in his last silent film, Speedy.

Ween's CD titled Chocolate and Cheese actually has an illustrated picture of an extended middle finger. On Ween's website, the same middle finger illustration (portrayed moving into the erect position) serves as the loading screen for the band's Flash-heavy site.

Kid Rock's CD titled Devil Without a Cause actually has a picture of an extended middle finger. On Kid Rock's CD titled Cocky, there is a picture of two hands, both extending the middle finger.

Richard Ashcroft, former frontman for British band The Verve, was known to raise both of his "famous fingers" to the camera during many photographs. This earned him the nickname "Mad Richard" from the U.K. press.

On Smash Mouth's CD Fush Yu Mang, the drummer of the band shows the finger. However, that is only on the Explicit version. The Edited version of the album has his finger cut off leaving a small nub.

The highest elected U.S. official caught "flipping the bird" while in office was Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller. Rockefeller was photographed responding to hecklers during the 1976 Republican National Convention. [3]

The United States FCC has banned display of this gesture on broadcast television as an obscenity. As a result, the gesture is often censored, and airbrushed out or replaced with large-pixel blocks. This gesture occurs frequently on television shows like The Jerry Springer Show or on music videos shown on MTV and VH1 although the popular show South Park does not censor it. This practice was explicitly parodied in the first episode of Drawn Together, where one of the characters isn't sure if another one has flipped her off because her hand was pixellated at the time. A popular MTV show, Pimp My Ride featured rapper Xzibit taking a car with a pair of Mickey Mouse gloves with four fingers including the thumb. As Xzibit drives the car, he wears the gloves and flips off the camera. Despite the technicality, it is still censored. The Boondocks episode The Garden Party with Ed Wuncler III giving the finger was censored.

Ignignot and Err of Aqua Teen Hunger Force are usually seen using this gesture, which remains uncensored because their 8-bit pixelated format only allows one finger to be visible anyway.

Maddox often has pictures of this offensive gesture throughout his website. He also gives information on "The Double Deuce" in his book The Alphabet of Manliness, which is the act of holding up both middle fingers "to let them know you think they're especially big shit stabbers."

Many people believe that the famous Country Rock legend Johnny Cash popularized the symbol in the 60's.

It is also used quite frequently by Stone Cold Steve Austin of the WWE, who began using the gesture after adopting his "Stone Cold" gimmick in the late 1990s. After entering a ring, Austin usually climbs the ringpost in each corner, raises his arms and gives the gesture. Austin does not turn his hands, so technically he's giving the finger to everyone behind him.

In November 2004 President Bush visited Canada on his first official visit. As his motorcade made its way from the airport to downtown Ottawa he was greeted by many waves and signs. Some were excitedly welcoming him, others were telling him to leave. Along with the waves of greeting people were also giving him the finger. Bush responded to this saying, "I want to thank the Canadian people who came out to wave, with all five fingers, for their hospitality."


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