Saturday, July 17, 2010

Pluck Yew

I never knew this before, and now that I know it, I feel compelled to send it on to those erudite readers in the hope that they, too, will feel edified. Isn't history more fun when you know something about it?

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 they would be incapable of fighting in the future. This famous English longbow was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as 'plucking the yew' (or 'pluck 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! Since 'pluck yew' is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodentals fricative F', and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute! It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as 'giving the bird.'
IT IS STILL AN APPROPRIATE SALUTE TO THE FRENCH TODAY!
And yew thought yew knew every plucking thing


PS--So it isn't true but a good joke nonetheless. And anything between the French and English gets my attention.

20 comments:

  1. Thanks for carrying this very important message, Syd ;)

    Loved it!

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  2. ROTFLMAO - Syd, what a fabulous way to start a Saturday. You were at the top of my blog list this morning and so you were the first blog I read.

    Now I won't feel so bad anytime I 'slip' and use the 'F' word which I now know is just a 'Y' word.
    :)

    PG

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  3. Ha ha ha!! Ahhh, now I'm really plucked!

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  4. lol clever indeed :-) I like it!

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  5. Nicely Syd. I never kyew that. Every old churchyard in england has a yew tree growing in it. This was to provide material for the bows in time of need. It was also a spiritual message given to the folk of the day. hope you are both having a good weekend

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  6. Sorry Syd, this is an internet myth, which snopes.com debunks:

    http://www.snopes.com/language/apocryph/pluckyew.asp

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  7. What an interesting concept, even if it isn't true. (Hugs)Indigo

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  8. OK, I still like the humor, even if I almost got tricked into thinking it was true!

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  9. That's funny, I think I'll start using the "new or I guess old version" :)

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  10. Love it! :)

    Thanks for your comments recently. As a recovering alcoholic, it is wierd for me, but I have been drawn to blogs from the "other side". I'm learning a lot and in turn I believe it is broadening my "living amends."

    I appreciate your sharing.

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  11. lol well it is a good reasonable explanation. I love how we can come up with reasonable, yet false, explanations for what we think and feel. Happens all the time in a human world.

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  12. Thanks Syd; I needed the smile :)

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  13. Ha, learned something new today :)

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  14. Sometimes we get to learn why. Now when I am giving the bird I will understand what I am really saying.

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  15. Very funny. Thanks for the giggle today!

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Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.