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One-finger salute

The one-finger salute is in some cultures an offensive hand gesture made by extending the center finger of the human hand while bending the other fingers at the second knuckle. It is meant to look phallic in nature and its figurative meaning is "fuck you." and is a primative form of sign language. This gesture has existed for hundreds of years. It is often referred to as "flipping the bird" or simply "flipping (someone) off."

In parts of Europe (most notably the U.K.) a related but slightly different gesture is quite common; the index and middle fingers of the hand are extended (and slightly bent) and the rest of the fingers are curled inward. This gesture is often known as the "V-sign". It should not be confused with Winston Churchill's famous "V for Victory", which uses the same arrangement of fingers but with the palm facing away from the signer.

Legend has it that the "V-sign", originated with English archers the Battle of Agincourt, who used it to demonstrate to their French opponents that they still had the fingers needed to pull back their bows (which, allegedly, were often cut off prisoners to prevent them using their martial skills).



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