Wednesday, January 9, 2019

I give you the Finger

Last week I corralled my partner into a road trip. We had already come up with 3 ideas for a TV campaign. And coming up with two more the client would never run could be done on the ride home.

So we gathered up my new toy (available on Amazon for less than 30 bucks and headed down to Palos Verdes.

This got me wondering.

About the origins of the Flip The Bird phenomena. As well as other hand gestures that have been with us since the invention of the wheel.

"The Wheel works. The Wall works. The Fuck You Middle Finger works."

According to Wikipedia (if you were looking for a more scholarly treatise you're reading the wrong blog), the Middle Finger dates back to the classical Greek era. Apparently, the image of the extended middle digit, nestled on each side by a folded knuckle resembled a phallic figure. But then, what in ancient Greek culture didn't? And it said, in no uncertain terms, "Fuck You."

In the Athenian play, Eirēnē, written by Aristophanes, the gesture was a form of mockery, equivalent to (and I'm quoting here), "I fart in your face." 

I like that. 

I like other hand sayings as well.

This one also comes from Greece, no wonder these people were always at war. The signal is also used in Africa and in Pakistan. It is called The Moutza and can be translated in progressively more vulgar ways:

"To hell with you." 

"I rub shit on your face."


"I'm going to violate your sister."

This one hails from India and Pakistan. But if you were born in the Bronx, and grew up in NYC, you've no doubt seen this. Often accompanied by the words, "Ba fangul you."

Translation : (see middle finger).

Naturally, and in accordance with the Rule of Threes, I saved the best and most interesting hand signal for last.  

This one is said to come from Saudi Arabia. Flash this inflammatory insult to the wrong person and you'll find yourself at the unfriendly side of a bone saw. 

The literal translation is, "Your mother is a whore. And bones so many guys, your father could be anyone."

Geez Louise. It may be time to have another look at my Bucket List and reconsider that vacation in Riyadh.

Let's leave today's post on a more pleasant hand signal.

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