In automobile driving culture, giving the finger to a fellow motorist communicates displeasure at another person's reckless driving habits and/or their disregard for common courtesy.
Sometimes, though, the "mistake" is actually an intentional euphemism meant to indirectly convey the gesture in a medium where a direct description would be inappropriate. Bush, former President of the United States, accidentally made the gesture while on a diplomatic trip to Australia.
During World War II, the 91st Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Forces referred to the gesture as the "rigid digit" salute.
It was used in a more jocular manner, to suggest an airman had committed an error or infraction; the term was a reference to British slang terms for inattentiveness (i.e. The "order of the rigid digit" continued after the war as a series of awards presented by the veteran's association of the 91st, marked by wooden statuettes of a hand giving the single finger gesture.
Many cultures use similar gestures to display their disrespect, although others use it to express pointing without intentional disrespect toward other cultures.
The gesture is usually used to express contempt but can also be used humorously or playfully.
Dmitry Medvedev instructed officials Tuesday to consider counter-sanctions against the countries, which he didn't identify. and the EU imposed sanctions in response to Moscow's annexation of Crimea and support for pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine.
The gesture is a visual pun on the two meanings of the Greek word dactylos, both "finger" and the rhythmic measure composed of a long syllable and two short, like the joints of a finger ( Linguist Jesse Sheidlower traces the gesture's development in the United States to the 1890s.An appellate court in Hartford, Connecticut ruled in 1976 that gesturing with the middle finger was offensive, but not obscene, after a police officer charged a 16-year-old with making an obscene gesture when the student gave the officer the middle finger.As a political message to the Czech President, Czech artist David Cerny floated an outsize, purple statue of a hand on the River Vltava in Prague; its middle finger extended towards Prague Castle, the Presidential seat.This gesture is also used similarly in Indonesia, Turkey and China.MOSCOW (AP) Russia's prime minister has ordered preparation of retaliatory measures against several non-EU European nations that have joined the European Union's sanctions against Russia.In the film Speedy (1928), Harold Lloyd's character gives himself the finger into a distorting mirror at Luna Park, about 24 minutes into the film.