Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More

Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More

Username

Joe Bradfield

Member Since

September 9, 2016

Total number of comments

1

Total number of votes received

12

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Shame on You!

  • September 9, 2016, 5:05pm

"Whittling" the index finger and "wagging it" upright at someone are likely related gestures. The punishment in medieval England for petty thief (and by association, light crimes) was to have a finger lopped off. According to my favorite origin stories, pointing your finger at someone is to assign blame to them, and then you either making a chopping motion (England), sawing motion (Wales) or "lopping off toward them" motion with the other index finger, warning them, "You could lose a finger like that." --- The related gesture of wagging a raised index finger once you have their attention is a similar reminder they don't want to lose a finger. The first gesture is accompanied sometimes by the words, "shame on you"; the second, "no no no."