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The V-sign


Comment on The V-sign

I had heard this at school in the 60s so it predates Desmond Morris's book.

Comment on The V-sign posted 2008-08-12 by Pete from England


Comment on The V-sign

Winston Churchill...One of the most awesome historical figures of all time and it was he who began the V-sign trend. When he threw it up, it was shortly after WWII and meant "VICTORY!" Many of the American Gi's that spent time in Japan after the war, emulated Churchill while posing for photographs, throwing up the Victory sign. Many of the Japanese were accustomed to the gesture and knew what it meant before Lennon or Lynn used it but it probably wasn't widely used or as popular until either of them flung up their fingers to create the famous V.

Comment on The V-sign posted 2008-05-09 by Jerry from USA


Comment on The V-sign

Harvey Smith is a disgusting arrogant horse thief and cheat, the public know nothing about him at all. He killed three people in a car crash that was his fault and committed purgery in a court after he cowardly beat up 2 old green workers who had told him to get off their green with his horses.

Comment on The V-sign posted 2008-05-06 by Brian Wheeler from Keighley, West Yorkshire


Comment on The V-sign

The English were not the best longbowmen archers in Europe. It was the Welsh who helped and taught the English the use of the longbow against the French. Check the history books. Archery was the only sport allowed on a Sunday so that the English could learn and develop the use of the most devestating weapon of its day from the Welsh. It is true however, that the Welsh used to give the V sign to the French to show that they still had their fingers as a taunt.

Comment on The V-sign posted 2008-04-22 by Steve from Wrexham


Comment on The V-sign

You would do well to consider the story of the Diggers (a charitable group) in and around San Francisco, California; recounted in a slightly obscure book by Emmet Grogan if that was his name. He specifically says the "V" was flashed in a moment of anger/frustration at interfering photo-journalists by an ex-patriot Briton. At a convocation, the Diggers felt they could not have their charity associated with the rude message; and agreed to spread the word that this "Vee for victory" was now the Peace Sign; Vee for Peace. Richard (SAN)

Comment on The V-sign posted 2008-01-14 by Richard Miner from San Diego, CA


Comment on The V-sign

These were Welsh bowmen people.

Comment on The V-sign posted 2007-12-03 by [email protected] from wales


Comment on The V-sign

I was born in 1964 and can still vividly remember using the reverse v sign as a young child so it has been around for some time. The version I remember though is of the longbow men in the crowsnests of old Navy sailing ships. A sign given to the french to say meaning our longbows have the reach.

Comment on The V-sign posted 2007-08-06 by Mark Foster from Northampton


Comment on The V-sign

Although the origin story of the V-sign itself is a myth, there is an actual historical source for the idea that archers would have fingers cut off if captured. But appropriately, it seems to be a piece of medieval English propaganda. The chronicler Jean de Wavrin (who was there at the battle) quotes King Henry V as warning his archers of this risk prior to the battle of Agincourt, in a clear attempt to urge them on. Someone has obviously read this and decided that it could be a good story to explain the V-sign.

Comment on The V-sign posted 2007-07-16 by Jon Ferguson from UK


Comment on The V-sign

Having travelled a good deal of the world, this is a uniquely British way of expressing yourself! The story is that its origins come from another nomination - the longbow. It was a means of telling your opponent that you were still capable of drawing a bowstring back, as you still had two fingers!

Comment on The V-sign posted 2007-03-30 by Catherine Cooper from CA, USA


Comment on The V-sign

The V sign is a very ancient gesture from the time when England was at war with France. English longbowmen were the best archers in Europe and whenever the French captured English archers they would cut off the index and middle finger of their shooting hand, making them useless in future battles. The English archers then took up the two fingered gesture to taunt the French in the opposite lines to show that they had both their shooting fingers and so would be giving them hell on the battlefield. That explains why the gesture is virtually unknown outside UK. It isn't sexual at all - but trust Desmond Morris to come up with that explanation - Anthropologists are obsessed with sex!

Comment on The V-sign posted 2006-11-29 by Andrew Prentis from London