Digitus Impudicus

Since 1886, the middle finger has evolved into perhaps the most commonly used insulting gesture in the United States. Known as the finger, the finger wave, the bird, half a peace sign, the one-finger salute, the expressway digit, digitus impudicus, the Trudeau salute, the extreme extremity, and -as President George W. Bush once called it- the β€œone-fingered victory salute,” one may give, shoot, raise, or flip it. The middle finger gesture serves as a nonverbal expression of anger, rage, frustration, disdain, protest, defiance, and even in some cases, comfort.

Although its meaning has remained relatively constant for thousands of years, the middle finger gesture has become part of the American vernacular and, in the process, dropped its unacceptable distinction. A newspaper reporter once griped that the overuse of the gesture is causing it to lose its potency, lamenting that β€œ[o]ur most precious obscene gesture is being overused, abused, and ultimately ruined.”

The goal of this site is merely to inform people about the gesture through it's history and its other forms, all in hopes that the glory of this once truly insulting salute be returned to its former glory. While words can have a lot of power, sometimes all your need is just one finger.