Where is the origin of the gesture of showing the middle finger, it may have originated in ancient Greece


Where is the origin of the gesture of showing the middle finger


Where is the origin of the gesture of showing the middle finger: About 2,500 years ago, mischievous Greeks began insulting, mocking, and poking people with gestures that imitated a man’s penis. In modern times, the middle finger is meant to mean “fuck you,” but historians say that in classical societies, the middle finger was more often a crude sexual innuendo.

CNN reported that Max Nelson, who teaches classical civilization at the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada, wrote in a 2017 article exploring the origins of the middle finger gesture that the Greeks “may have borrowed An erect penis is represented by the middle finger.”

Nielsen and other classical researchers speculate that the triumphant middle finger extension was often a joke, an insult, or a sexual advance. Some ancient Greek sources mention that people would use their middle fingers to poke people’s body parts, including their nostrils and private parts.

It is said that the Greek playwright Aristophanes also liked the middle finger gesture and mentioned “that long finger” in several works.

“Middle finger pointing” spread from Greece to ancient Rome

Later, the middle finger gesture spread to ancient Rome, where the locals may have called it “that dirty finger.” The Roman historian Suetonius mentioned that the Roman emperor Caligula would force his subjects to kiss his middle finger. Desmond Morris, an anthropologist who has studied the history of the middle finger, believes that this gesture represents Caligula’s penis and is derogatory to others.

Morris once said that the modern man’s middle finger is extended high and the other fingers are curled up at the sides to represent the penis and testicles. He told the BBC in 2012: “What it means is that when you show someone your penis, it’s a very instinctive display.”

But historians still don’t know whether ancient Greeks and Romans also held their middle fingers vertically. Nielsen writes that although ancient people may have used their middle fingers to make obscene gestures, they may have done so horizontally or in other directions, unlike today.

Where is the origin of the gesture of showing the middle finger-1
picture: steemit

Once “out of fashion”

During the Middle Ages, the middle finger gesture fell out of popularity; researchers believe this may be due to the growing influence of the Catholic Church and its disapproval of sexual gestures. But the middle-finger gesture hasn’t completely disappeared. Morris once said that Italian immigrants introduced this gesture to the United States in the late 19th century.

Writer Brian Palmer wrote for the current affairs website Slate that by the 1960s, the middle finger began to be nicknamed “bird.” Even before the mid-20th century, “bird” was synonymous with sarcasm. When the middle finger gesture came back into fashion, Britons and other Europeans favored the wordless gesture in place of goose-like trumpets and disgruntled catcalls.

Later became a “symbol of rebellion”

Later, the middle finger became a favorite gesture of anti-authority rebels. It is said that when American singer Johnny Cash was performing at San Quentin State Prison in California in 1969, a photographer asked him what he thought of the warden. At that time, Johnny Cash Showed his middle finger provocatively.

Anti-establishment artists Joe Strummer and Tupac Shakur have shown their middle fingers to the ruling class in their works and photos.

Now it has a vulgar meaning

Today, the middle finger is still considered a vulgar gesture and is often passed over in the media. There was a moment of panic when a BBC presenter accidentally flashed his middle finger to the audience during a live broadcast.

In 2012, singer MIA flashed her middle finger to the camera during a Super Bowl halftime show performance with pop star Madonna, prompting the NFL and NBC to apologize. The NFL sought $16.6 million from MIA, accusing her of breach of contract and tarnishing the NFL’s reputation. Two years later, MIA settled the case but never apologized.

MIA and Madonna wore studded leather skirts during their performances, much like the battle attire of a Roman gladiator. Maybe MIA just wants to maintain the classics.

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