The middle finger gesture… A surefire way to send someone into a firing rage! So where did the middle finger originate?
One thing is clear… Even though youngsters especially like to give the “Finger”, the gesture itself is really old.
Part of ancient history, in fact.
It’s at least 2500 years old. Aristophanes wrote about this gesture in his play “The Clouds”, which first played in 423 BC, where none other than Socrates was presented the middle finger by Strepsiades. And even then it was considered a rude and indecent gesture, mimicking the penis and testicles. The Romans called the middle finger the digitus impudicus or indecent finger.
This likeness to the fallus makes us believe that the gesture is much older. In a time where you couldn’t buy a big car as a penis enhancement, it’s very likely that the showing the middle finger was a way to say: “My Dick is Bigger than Your Dick”. Obviously, it’s still used as a symbol to say that the other person is sexually inferior.
As with the car, we feel that if you need the aid of your finger to prove your manhood, you may very well score badly in that regard…
As you can probably tell, we’re not a huge fan of this gesture!
- Anthony Weiner Gives the Middle Finger, Media Freak Out (alternet.org)