Flipping the bird? and Morse

jester at PANIX.COM jester at PANIX.COM
Wed Aug 2 16:06:51 UTC 2000

> A (non-linguist) coworker of mine is curious about the origins of the phrase
> "flipping the bird".  I couldn't find anything in my copy of the Random
> House HDAS, but I only looked quickly.  Any answers?

This term is covered in detail in HDAS s.v. _bird_ n. III.9. The
sense referring to "the finger" and often (though by no means
exclusively) used with _flip_ is subdefinition d, first cited in

Jesse Sheidlower
Oxford English Dictionary
<jester at panix.com>

More information about the Ads-l mailing list