flip the bird

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A woman flipping the bird


  • (file)


flip the bird (third-person singular simple present flips the bird, present participle flipping the bird, simple past and past participle flipped the bird)

  1. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see flip,‎ bird.
  2. (colloquial, idiomatic) (flip someone the bird) To make a rude or obscene gesture (at somebody); particularly, to extend the middle finger.
    I accidentally bumped into him, and he flipped me the bird.
    • 2005, Vince Flynn, Consent to Kill[1], page 135:
      He held his right hand up in front of his face and flipped the bird.
    • 2007, R. D. Reynolds, The Wrestlecrap Book of Lists![2], page 350:
      The vaunted Attitude era was built, in many ways, on a level of crudity never before seen in wrestling. You had guys flipping the bird, women nearly naked in the ring and guys telling each other to “suck it.”
    • 2008, Vanessa Grigoriadis, Everybody Sucks, American Society of Magazine Editors (compilers), The Best American Magazine Writing 2008, page 9,
      This summer, she took some time off in Maine, and before she went posted a picture of herself on Gawker in a bathing suit flipping the bird — "At least I didn't put up the ones of myself in a silver-lame bikini. That would have been a little much," she said, laughing.

Usage notes[edit]

In the idiomatic sense, often used with an indirect object in the form flip [someone] the bird.



See also[edit]