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  #1  
Old 30 Aug 2009
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FYYFF! The Finger. And Other Civil Greetings

I live in the US, born there too. However, I am also a Costa Rican, lived there too, family there, we are from there, etc. Dual-national, carry two passports. I have also lived in Europe. My first ride on a motorcycle was as a teen. I am in my 50's now.

Looking at various motorcycle e-boards, I am trying to figure out where in the timeline it became acceptable to greet your friends with insults. These are things like flipping them the finger in photos, referring to them as 'bastards', 'son-of-bitch', and the ever famous "FYYFF", etc. Strangers get this treatment too, as if they are instant friends.

I assure you if I addressed my Latino friends like this, we would no longer be friends, and some of us might even be dead for showing a lack of respect. When I lived in Europe in the 80's, I never noticed this type of behavior either. Is this something specific to the Anglophone culture, and was it always like this?

Z
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Old 30 Aug 2009
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More of a ADV advrider thing.

As for when started? It has been this way for a long time in the USA. May have started in WW2 among soldiers but I have seen westerns where it was done. More of a way to express affection between people that have been threw a lot together that the outsider will not get.

It is seen as a manly way to say hi, I like you a lot and lets shock the people that are not in the group.

If you follow the people that do this you will find they save this greeting for people they feel are good enof to be in there club the outsider will get a standard non feeling "HI" or Hello". It is far from showing a lack of respect it is a way to show the deepest respect and inclusion in the group.
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Old 30 Aug 2009
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Originally Posted by DLbiten View Post
More of a ADV advrider thing.

As for when started? It has been this way for a long time in the USA. May have started in WW2 among soldiers but I have seen westerns where it was done....It is far from showing a lack of respect it is a way to show the deepest respect and inclusion in the group.
I was also a US Army officer, I don't recall this mode of behavior in the army. Maybe it's a 'modern' behavorial thing, and I think those westerns may have been done in modern times and not necessarily reflective of the behavior in those actual times, at least amongst friends. Dunno.

I guess it's a cultural type of thing. Not sure I'll be able to adopt that part of the culture. As for 'group inclusion' I guess I am odd man out on that too. I ride pretty much solo. However, I don't see this behavior just amongst riders. Seems to be getting more and more prevalent in the US.

Anyways, thank you for answering.
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Old 30 Aug 2009
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Some do, but most don't. It's an integral part of the modern world, but that doesn't mean you, I, or anyone in particular have to participate or approve.

FWIW, I'm deep into my 50's now too, and I don't give anyone the finger unless I'm ready and willing to fight. This happens rather rarely: once or twice a decade. I haven't had to follow through yet, which is probably best.

I'm having trouble imagining the situation in which I'd use a gesture like this affectionately, or as a sign of inclusion. Surely this inability is just one more sign of my increasing age...but that's quite ok.

Those who do use such gestures or language intending no disrespect had best temper their impulses when away from home. In much of the world--as the OP pointed out--giving the finger might be bad for one's health.

enjoy,

Mark
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Old 31 Aug 2009
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Originally Posted by markharf View Post

FWIW, I'm deep into my 50's now too, and I don't give anyone the finger unless I'm ready and willing to fight
Are you sure your not George Foreman ???
you got to love the USA
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  #6  
Old 31 Aug 2009
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Hmmm. I received a nice PM on this subject. I tried to reply but a message came up saying, "You need 8 posts to reply and you only have 5". Okay, so now I have 6, and I do have some other questions to ask in other sections later on, so maybe I will get to 8 soon.

Yes, it could be an age thing. However, I do agree with markharf on tempering this tendency when outside of the Anglophone world.

For those of you who have travelled in the Latin World (and I am going to be bold and include France and Italy in this context), you may have noticed that how a person greets others, and how this person is greeted by others, in restaurants, pubs, and other public venues, often is an indicator of how that person is respected by his peers. So if someone walks into a venue in the Latin World and is greeted by the "FYYFF!" equivalent, jaws would drop and folks would scramble to get out of the way as guns and/or knives get drawn.

Right now I am in Lusophone Africa, where of course the FYYFF! culture has not "evolved", or maybe I should say "de-evolved"

Obrigado,

Z
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Old 31 Aug 2009
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I expect its just the evolution of the way we behave and what is considered rude by parents is used by their kids as it is seen as rebellious but soon those words gain common usage and so the kids develop a load of new words.
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Old 31 Aug 2009
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Hi,

It's just a cultural thing. Interestingly its essentially a sign of respect. Having travelled around a wee bit I notice that mutual abuse is most common in young Brits, Aussies and Kiwis. Although its usually a bit more sofisticated than just just calling someone a **** or a **** or even a ******* ****** ****.

When you intimate that you may have seen your friends mother (for example) working up a sweat in a local 'gentleman's club' and that her advancing cellulite is putting at risk the family income, you are in fact saying: "You are my mate and I can say these things to you because we are pals and you are a chilled out geezer who I know will not go psycho on me and try and stab me to death because I made a joke."

Like I say, its a cultural thing, usually reserved to young lads, and you'll either get it or you won't. Although, I wouldn't, as a youth, have said anything about anyones mother unless they were a good friend of mine and I was sure that their mother was in entirely respectable employment.

These days, I am too old for that kind of thing, and stick to making arch remarks about peoples choice of vehicle, level of hair-loss and the appearance of their children.

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Old 31 Aug 2009
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Originally Posted by Matt Cartney View Post
Hi,

"You are my mate and I can say these things to you because we are pals and you are a chilled out geezer who I know will not go psycho on me and try and stab me to death because I made a joke."
Plus one there Matt. This is the way me and my best pal all the time, and have done for years. It never gets out of hand and is always followed by roaring laughter. In fact its how I talk to all my close mates, not saying were incapable of deep conversation, its just that when we meet up and ride we'd rather make a few cracks then talk about impending social/financial/environmental doom.

I have met people older then myself (Im in my twenties) who become shocked at this and usually embaressed. I think the older generations are more dignified and therefore have more to loose by using these 'loose conversation' methods.

That being said I do adopt a very formal tone when being professional as to make myself clear, and only talk to close friends loosely.

Last edited by devildiver; 31 Aug 2009 at 15:29. Reason: Poor Grammer/Spelling
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Old 31 Aug 2009
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One of my experiences with this was in Melbourne, Oz. I was staying at what was then the Shertaton in the South Bank area. There is a casino up the quay from the hotel, the Crown casino. Anways, the place is nice and swanky, good restaurants in there, etc. The crowd is fairly well dressed. So I walk into this bar (there are a few bars in the casino) and there are a crowd of people around the bar, so I am waiting to order a drink, though I drink little alcohol. Some guy asks me where I am from. So I say the US, so he says well "FY!". I'm kinda stunned, so I say "uh,..,FY back!" He looks over at his buddies and says, "hey this fk'er is from the US". His buddy says, "well then why the hell haven't you bought the bastard a yet?"

These guys all turned out to be policeman. I paid for no drinks that evening, and didn't even gamble. They kept introducing me to these women that were all named "Sheila"
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Old 31 Aug 2009
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.... insulting someone can be a term of affection too Daft but true

If you have a sense of humour you can tell if someone is having a laff.......

Its usually quite clear if they really mean it

Zarcero, I can't believe your 'friends' would dis-own you if you said something a "bit off" to them.... They can't be real friends Everyone has a bit of a falling out now and again.... Get over it !
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Old 31 Aug 2009
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It's kinda backward but it's nothing to get upset about.

If I meet up with my brother or our friends (mid 20's to early 30's), the greeting may be something like, "wassup gayboy", and would expect a slightly harsher "insult" as a response. Decency prevents me from giving you a full list of examples but the more "politically incorrect", the better.

I wouldn't address anyone of any age, in this way who wasn't a really good friend.
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Old 3 Sep 2009
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Originally Posted by Zarcero View Post

I assure you if I addressed my Latino friends like this, we would no longer be friends, and some of us might even be dead for showing a lack of respect.
Wow! You and your friends would commit murder over receiving the finger? What do you do if someone steals your parking place? Kill their family?
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Old 7 Sep 2009
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Originally Posted by strikingviking View Post
Wow! You and your friends would commit murder over receiving the finger? What do you do if someone steals your parking place? Kill their family?
Nope, and that's not what my post said either.

However, I have seen your pictures, and it is considered more civil to give a thumbs-up, than give the finger So good for you.

Los feos (people with bad manners), OTOH, are usually just ignored, unless of course they get really nasty. Which I am sure you've also noticed during your residency in Mexico and travels in Latin America. Good luck on your upcoming adventure.
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Old 8 Sep 2009
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Originally Posted by Zarcero View Post
Nope, and that's not what my post said either.

However, I have seen your pictures, and it is considered more civil to give a thumbs-up, than give the finger So good for you.

Los feos (people with bad manners), OTOH, are usually just ignored, unless of course they get really nasty. Which I am sure you've also noticed during your residency in Mexico and travels in Latin America. Good luck on your upcoming adventure.
The middle finger salute over on advrider is just a humorous acknowledgment among the 100,000 registered users there. As you've seen in my photos, we don't offer that gesture to those outside of that community and even amongst ourselves abbreviate what has become a private joke--FYYFF. Many even have a decal with that designation on our bikes as a signal for others who understand the meaning.

Please don't take this as any kind of insult to anyone as you will have to look hard to find a more generous and kind hearted group of riders. Two years ago, Pete from Berkeley and I pitched the crew at advrider to donate sufficient funds to sponsor riders from developing countries for an all-expenses-paid moto-journey to North America.

The first rider was Chanderjeet from India and last year's was Shustrik from Vladivostok. Shustrik has been assisting so many international riders passing through Siberia for so many years, he has become a legend in hospitality. We wanted to repay that so we invited him over. In his case, Chanderjeet's, and this year's Lu Fei from China, it was easy to raise funds. Each year, within two weeks of announcements, over five thousand dollars in tens, twenties and a few hundreds poured into fill the coffers.

The way I see it, anyone who rides a bike is cool with me and that is basically the view over there. In spite of the garbage section of JoMomma, their crowning jewel on advrider is their Ride Reports threads which scores hundreds of thousands of hits. My thread is now at 2.2 million and many others are catching up. I'm trying to help Grant out over here now on his recently opened section for Ride Reports which should attract readers and posters.
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