100 years war

FYI Series: I Can Still Pluck You!


Long story short, the 100 Years War that began around 1337/38 and went up to 1453 was a war between France and England. The king of England (King Edward III) believed that he was also the kind of France. Technically, this could be held true because King Charles IV of France was Edward’s uncle, and when he died, Edward was the closest male heir to Charles. Yet, Charles’ cousin, Philip VI was crowned King of France.

This war, that was lead by ego, naturally surpassed the deaths of both Philip and Edward (as it lasted over 100 years). It also created new weaponry and military tactics. One such weapon was the English longbow.

The longbow was unlike other bows and was plucked using the index and ring fingers. It had the ability to shoot arrows much further and faster than previous bows. The French dreaded the longbow. It was tricky. As the English fired, hitting their targets, the French fired back thinking that they were also in range, but only ended up losing precious ammunition.

In one battle, the French captured a group of English longbowmen. Instead of killing them, they cut off their index and ring fingers, in doing so, ending their skill and ability. As the Englishmen gained consciousness, and upon realizing what had occurred to them, they shouted back to the Frenchmen, “I CAN STILL PLUCK YOU!” while sticking out their middle fingers.

As centuries passed, this phrase slowly morphed into the very popular saying of, “F*** you.”

Here is more info about the Longbow: the weaponry of choice for the notorious, Robin Hood.


**The FYI Series is meant to introduce historical context of pop-culture. Some of the stories have been proven by historians and some are still debated. I suggest taking these as a light read, as it is not meant to be a historical paper.**