What are the origins of the middle finger gesture?

Answer

The origins of the gesture universally referred to as "The Finger" are unknown, although its use as an obscenity can be dated at least as far back as 419 B.C. when the playwright Aristophanes writes about it in his comedy "The Clouds." However, the expression may be even older, since experts point out that male squirrel monkeys in South Africa also make a similar gesture with their penises.

This ancient insult is known as a phallic gesture in some circles, and it was called the offensive finger or digitus impudicus by the Romans. The finger itself is said to represent a penis, while the surrounding knuckles form two testicles. Many find the gesture to be one of the worst nonverbal insults.

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Q&A Related to "What are the origins of the middle finger gesture..."
The middle finger had originated in the middle ages, somewhere form the war between France and England. In the war, the knighthood became forgotten, because they became too useless
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Where_did_the_middle_fin...
The origin of the middle finger happened when the English soldiers
http://www.chacha.com/question/where-did-the-'midd...
The origin of this gesture is speculative, and quite possibly thousands of years old. It is identified as the digitus impudicus (impudent finger" in Ancient Roman writings and
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=200907...
English archers first used the middle finger to mock the French by waving it in victory. If archers were captured, the French would cut off their middle finger.
http://www.kgbanswers.com/where-did-the-offence-of...
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