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Saturday 27th August 2016
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Why does is the V-sign considered rude?


Who decided that first and second fingers are the victory sign and the rude one?
Clive, A3


** Definitive **
Name: James O’Brien
Qualification: Classics expert
Answer: If we go back to the times of Henry V, warfare was conducted by infantry, cavalry and archers. If you captured an enemy archer, you would chop off the two fingers he most needed to use his bow – the first and second. So when the British beat the French, we signalled our success by showing that we still had the two fingers, and also taunted the French archers that no longer had theirs. Since then, it’s morphed to just the middle finger.