The meaning of flipping someone the bird has changed since the era of the Romans.

Flipping the bird, the middle finger, the one finger salute.Whatever you call it, we all know what it means. But the meaning of the middle finger has evolved over the years.

Instead of anger, the middle finger used to represent a penis. One of the first recorded mentions of it is in the play, “The Clouds” from 424 BC. Emperors in Rome used this gesture and had their subjects kiss their middle finger. And the term “flipping the bird” comes from literally hissing like a goose at people.

The action became so popular, it eventually just was called “flipping the bird”. And when yelling in public fell out of style, it was replaced using you middle finger to show your anger towards someone. In 1886, baseball player Charles Radbourn flipped the first photographed middle finger. And since then, it’s been seen everywhere in American media.

And has spread across the world. Now everyone knows what it means. So along with saying “F” you to people you’re angry at, you can also give them a history lesson!


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