Pluck Yew

A dear friend sent this email to me today and I almost choked on my wine while reading it.  This is just too Snarky not share.  I checked with Snopes and it indicates the story isn’t true.  Well, I say to Snopes, “were you actually there?”  ” How can you be so sure this event didn’t happen?”  So, Pluck Yew Snopes.  My Snarky mind likes this story and from now on when I raise my middle finger in salute of some stupid idiot I will say to the offender “Pluck Yew!!”

Before the Battle of Agincourtin 1415, the French, anticipating victory over the English, proposed to cut off the middle finger of all captured English soldiers. Without the middle finger it would be impossible to draw the renowned English longbow and therefore they would be incapable of fighting in the future. This famous English longbow was made of the native English Yew tree, and the act of drawing the longbow was known as ‘plucking the yew’ (or ‘pluck yew’).
Much to the bewilderment of the French, the English won a major upset and began mocking the French by waving their middle fingers at the defeated French, saying, See, we can still pluck yew!

Since ‘pluck yew’ is rather difficult to say, the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodentals fricative F’, and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute! It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows used with the longbow that the symbolic gesture is known as ‘giving the bird.’

And yew thought yew knew every plucking thing!

Comments (5)


  1. MOM says:



  2. Kookie says:


  3. Heya, thanks for this article. we discovered it by chance, but it surely ended up being precisely what i required. i’ll come back later in order to learn even more. Bless you.

  4. I simply had to appreciate you once again. I do not know the things I would have followed without the opinions discussed by you over this industry. It previously was a very frightening concern in my view, however , discovering the very professional style you solved the issue forced me to weep for gladness. I will be thankful for the support and then sincerely hope you find out what an amazing job you’re doing training the others all through your websites. Most probably you haven’t met all of us.

  5. Joe Blough says:

    Yes, sure. Lets just ignore historical facts, evidence, common sense, and logic and put this forth as true because it is such a cute little anecdote. I weep for the future…

Leave a Reply