Posted by Gary on July 04, 2003
In Reply to: The v sign / two fingers posted by John Howard on July 03, 2003
: Sorry - all the explanations about english archers at Agincourt etc. being threatened with loss of fingers are most probably a myth see http://www.snopes.com/language/apocryph/pluckyew.htm
In the UK it is widely believed that the battle of Agincourt was origin of the 'two fingers' salute. Most folk beliefs of this sort turn out to be unsupported by hard evidence and rely on retrospectively fitting the facts to a neat story. We've seen enough of these here to be suspicious - POSH, Scot Free etc. The web site referenced above offers opinion rather than fact, so doesn't prove anything either way.
I would like to believe this one. I've seen references claiming that Henry V's speech before the battle (the real one not Shakespeare's version), referred to the threat to the archers from the French. If anyone can turn up any real historical material on this I'd love to see it. Like we always have to say here though - evidence not opinion.