Wednesday , July 24 2024

Ha Ha Ha — Pluck Yew

Talk about echo chamber: the Internet is swell and all as a communication device and information source, BUT YOU MUST CONSIDER THE SOURCE. The stupid shit that gets passed around breathlessly from bored office-bound computer slave to computer slave wouldn’t survive a smell test by Jake Gittes if those doing the passing would stop and think for about five seconds; and yet I received the below via email today, in 2005, and I see 14,200 returns on it doing a quick and dirty Google search:

    Before the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the French, while anticipating a victory over the English, proposed to sever the middle finger of all captured English soldiers. Missing their middle fingers, the Brits would be unable to draw the string on the renowned English longbow and, therefore, be incapable of fighting in the future.

    The longbow was made from the native English Yew Tree and the act of drawing the string was known as “Plucking the Yew” or “Pluck Yew.”

    Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset at Agincourt and began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying “See, we can still pluck yew! PLUCK YEW!”

    Since “Pluck Yew” is rather difficult to say, over time the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has evolved into a labiodentals fricative “F” and, thus, the words most often used in connection with the one-fingered salute! It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that this symbolic gesture is known as “giving the bird.”

    And yew thought yew knew everything!

This steaming pile of pseudo history was debunked by Snopes in 1999, but I guess five or six years isn’t enough for the refutation to circulate.

And John Kerry REALLY won Ohio, or hadn’t you heard?

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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