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The “V” for Victory finger sign actually started as a taunt.

The “V” for Victory finger sign actually started as a taunt.

Holding up the first two fingers in a “V” for “victory” actually began during the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. Legend has it that the French said they would cut off the shooting fingers (the index and second finger) of every English longbowman if they won the battle. Unfortunately for the French, the British were victorious. The longbowmen taunted the French by showing off their two fingers, still intact.

Although the sign can represent victory, in many countries it is known as an insult. Known as the “Longbowman’s Salute” or the “two-fingered salute,” the sign is akin to giving the finger and is restricted (or at the very least, in poor taste) in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.