160mc: Flicking the v’s

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The good old ‘Two Fingered Salute’ is most definitely one of my favorite swears. Whether a sneaky v sign at the side of your cheek to a friend or the full, two handed, two finger waving gesture Rik Mayall made iconic. Nothing shows that you’ve gotten away with something you shouldn’t have or won victory over your opponent more than a wave of those two digits.

Rumour has it that ‘flicking the v’s’ dates all the way back to the 1300’s. When, during The Hundred Years War, any kidnapped English archers, allegedly, had their index and middle fingers removed to prevent them firing a longbow. But, as there is no historical evidence of ‘The Forks’ being used as an insult before the 1970’s, it seems much more likely that it is a reversal of the two fingered sign Winston Churchill and the BBC’s V for Victory campaign made famous during the Second World war. Switching the message of Victory and Peace of the 1940’s and 60’s to a more Punk Rock 1970’s ‘Up Yours.’

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