Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

flip the bird

flip the bird

Meaning

  • show someone the middle finger as an act of contempt or anger
  • a rude and impolite gesture of showing someone the middle finger
  • stick out the middle finger at someone in an obscene gesture

Example Sentences

  1. When he could not get the man to agree with him, he flipped him the bird and went off cursing.
  2. Fed up of his boss constantly shouting at him and criticizing him, he flipped him the bird and quit.
  3. When the police signaled him to stop, he flipped him the bird and sped off.
  4. He flipped him the bird and went away in a huff when he would not listen to him.
  5. I accidentally dropped his stuff from his table, and he flipped me the bird.
  6. If he tries to start a slanging match with me , I’ll flip him the bird.

Origin
The expression originated in the mid 1900s. The earliest record found is from 1967 in Broadside (Volume 6, Issues 17-26). The gesture itself, however, is an ancient one and can be found as far back as 423 BC in Greek texts. Even then it is used as a rude and obscene gesture. It is likely that the gesture has been used since prehistory.

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