A question for all the brits

(and anybody else who knows)

what in the world does “two fingers” mean?? over here it’s “V for victory” used a lot around election time. i’d really like to know what they’re talking about when i watch british sitcoms (which is probably about half of what i watch). :teehee:

From an Aussie… here are a couple of explanations…

In the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, the V sign (given with back of the hand towards the recipient) serves a similar purpose (primarily “fuck off”), whilst “the bird” (the middle finger extended) is more often used for “up yours”, “swivel on it”, “sit and swivel on it” or “sit and spin”.

… and … two fingers can be used as a measurement when pouring spirits (particularly whisky) into a glass

Oh I remember reading a website all about the 2 finger V. It can mean sooo many things, from the equivalent of “flipping the bird” as knitandpearl said, to goodluck…

I know it more as the hippy sign for Peace, and also Goodluck, from Japanese cartoons, it’s realllly popular in Japan and has a couple different meanings there, the one I am familiar with is goodluck, as in you flash someone the Vsign to wish them goodluck…

Wikipedia has a pretty extensive page on the Vsign HERE

thanks! i just got educated. :teehee:

Held over someones head in a group photo it’s an advertisment of their fertility (at least according to the teen sisters).

its peace if it’s a v and palm facing outwards, in my experience the two fingers when used to mean “F*** you” the fingers are together and the back of the hand is outward. Victory is when fingers are parted.

Even though I am English and have lived here all my life, I still don’t get the whole two finger thing, so I avoid using this gesture altogether as I would hate to give the wrong message!

Apparently it’s left over from a medieval war (Agincourt?) where the French would cut off two fingers from English longbow men so they couldn’t shoot their bows, so longbow men would taunt the enemy by showing they still had their two fingers - dunno if it’s true but it sounds good.

i know it as an insult (a non verbal ‘Fc or Ps - off’) when it is the V with the back of your hand showing and as peace or victory with the front of the hand showing.
how seriously it is taken depends on who is doing it i think. you often see it being done between freinds in jokey manner when they are in a situation were they can’t talk (say if i was on the phone to my mum and my mate started tickling me i might gesture the back-of-hand V at him while trying not to giggle).
thats not to say it doesnt get used in a more aggressive way too, just like other forms of swearing.