Talk:pull my finger

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The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for verification.

Please do not re-nominate for verification without comprehensive reasons for doing so.

It's a common phrase, but since it doesn't actually convey meaning beyond the strict literal sense, it doesn't seem to belong here. Rod (A. Smith) 05:36, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Move to RfD. Then D. Widsith 10:34, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
So how are we supposed to understand "Hey Adam, pull my finger"? [1] or these [2] [3]? Kappa 11:13, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree, the meaning cannot be guessed from the words. It implies that the finger is a fart lever. Keep. —Stephen 12:08, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Keep per Stephen. bd2412 T 17:05, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Keep, strongly idiomatic. --Connel MacKenzie 18:03, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
(I don't think voting applies here.) Although the joke with its physical comedy may attribute an unexpected effect to the act of pulling a finger, the phrase as it is used within the joke is a literal use of the non-idiomatic components of the phrase. That is, the person playing the joke uses the words in their plain and non-idiomatic way when he or she says them to the mark. The mark is not supposed to interpret the words idiomatically, so no idiomatic meaning is intended by the phrase itself. Valid citations would have to demonstrate some idiomatic use of the phrase itself, not an idiomatic implication of a joke that contains the literal use of the phrase. Rod (A. Smith) 22:56, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
The set phrase is not used outside of the context of that joke, though, except as allusions to the joke. That is, in a serious board room meeting, someone asks for a particular opinion, and the boss responds "well...pull my finger" it is not a direct request that the person act out the actual finger-pulling. Rather, it would be equivalent to that same boss saying "your idea smells like shit." How are real citations supposed to be found when there are millions of examples (of the direct joke) to wade through? It is ridiculous to suggest that this entry doesn't belong in Wiktionary. How would someone learning English possibly be able to figure it out? --Connel MacKenzie 08:59, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
By practical application? :) Andrew massyn 06:50, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Harmless, interesting in its own way, although I am not sure of the second definition. RFVpassed. Andrew massyn 06:50, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Request for deletion[edit]

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The following information passed a request for deletion.

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, though feel free to discuss its conclusions.

A previous RFV passed without citations being provided (see Talk:pull_my_finger). However, I don't doubt that it can be cited, and this is an RFD. Same rationale, though: "It's a common phrase, but since it doesn't actually convey meaning beyond the strict literal sense, it doesn't seem to belong here." Stephen said "I agree, the meaning cannot be guessed from the words. It implies that the finger is a fart lever"; but that is not the implied meaning, is it? It is just a literal request for the person to pull the finger. If it meant "I am going to fart", it would be a standard idiom, not the joke/prank. This seems like having an entry for "Look into my eyes" (stating that it implies hypnotism) or even "Hand it over" (implying, unguessably!, that money is wanted when a bank robber says it). Equinox 23:09, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

I'm of two minds about this one, but I did find one attributive use in b.g.c. (for "Pull My Finger" conditional program). --EncycloPetey 23:23, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
Keep, I think. With respect to meaning, it seems quite clear to me that the expression has a meaning and not a literal one (i.e, it is not simply SOP) and that the meaning is pretty specific. It is a humorous or insulting challenge, inviting the interlocutor to induce a fart in the speaker. Equinox's 2 examples are arguably not in quite the same situation, since "look into my eyes" can have a very wide range of contexts and implied meanings and "hand it over" contains the wide-open pronoun "it". But, what endears me most to this entry is the fact that the first time I encountered it I found it quite useful. I had never known what "Pull my finger" meant, though I'd heard it a few times (the most recent when Michael Caine uttered it, mockingly to the bad guys, in Children of Men). This entry explained it to me, performing precisely the function that a dictionary is intended to perform. So I think it's a valid, helpful entry. -- WikiPedant 00:27, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't think it is easy to cite in lower case. Most uses are in upper case and seem to derive from novelty dolls. And many are in quotes which makes it more likely that they are mentions. OTOH there might be enough in attributive use to support the upper case version. I found one for lower case. DCDuring TALK 01:03, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
Weekly World News‎, v. 20, no. 49, Aug 31, 1999, Page 23:
  • Gasbag hubby makes me pull his finger! Dear Dotti: My husband makes a big show of passing gas and actually makes me pull his finger when friends or neighbors drop by.
2007, Andrew B Brandi, The Warrior's Guide to Insanity‎, p. 68:
  • He's not asking you to pull his finger, and he doesn't belch in front of your friends, demonstrating some new form of human speech.
2006, Larry the Cable Guy, Git-R-Done‎, 143:
  • I remember he actually teared up at his father's funeral. Later I realized it was because he had told the deacon to pull his finger at the gravesite and he farted. He was crying so hard from laughing, it looked like he was in mourning.
Based on the foregoing, move to pull one's finger. bd2412 T 02:16, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
I agree, but it should probably be pull someone's finger. Leave pull my finger as a redirect. -- WikiPedant 03:56, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
Or more simply pull a finger, since that has a fair amount of usage as well. A possessive pronoun is not a necessary component of this phrase. — Carolina wren discussió 04:23, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
Kept for no consensus.--Jusjih 02:09, 29 March 2010 (UTC)