How and why did the finger between the ‘ring finger’ and the ‘pointer finger’ come to mean an offensive gesture?
TG27574, City : Springfield, State : IL, Country : United States, 10512
I think it has to do with the phallic imagery and the implied violence in the upward motion. If you turn that hand upside-down, it looks like a flaccid penis and testicles, and this is equally offensive in other cultures. Be careful of the hand signals you use in foreign countries. Thumbs-up is the same as the middle finger in some countries.
Carlo, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation: Straight, Race : Asian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 24, City : toronto, State : NA, Country : Canada, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class
The middle finger being offensive started with apes. A male monkey would put his penis in another male monkey’s face. By doing this he is saying that he is superior and could overpower the other monkey and have sex with him if he wanted. Our finger is symbolic of the monkey’s penis. A man sticking his middle finger into another man’s face, is saying that he is the superior man.
Clyde, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 48, City : Easton, State : PA, Country : United States, Education level : 4 Years of College, Phone : 908-419-7820, Social class : Middle class
I have heard that the offensiveness of flipping someone off comes from pre-gun times when bow and arrows were the main source of defense. When an enemy was captured, the middle finger of their drawing hand was cut off, so that they could no longer draw their bows. Then to mock them, people would give them the finger.
Amanda, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation: Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Christian, Age : 17, City : Anchorage, State : AK, Country : United States, Occupation : Rockin’, Education level : High School Diploma, Social class : Upper middle class
Since the middle finger is the longest, it is often used to ‘probe’ the vagina during foreplay, acting as a substitute for the penis. Thus, when somebody gives you ‘the finger’ it’s the substitute for penis as well; it’s basically saying ‘fuck you’.
Max21858, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation: Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 35, City : Minneapolis, State : MN, Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class