A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 06, 2016
Bronx Salute

The term “Bronx salute” has been cited in print since at least 1927, when it meant the Bronx cheer. The gesture involves the tongue between the lips, and is also called a “raspberry” or “razz.”

The “Bronx salute” came to be known as a hand gesture in addition to the Bronx cheer. “Cheers of the Italians were answered by men ashore with hearty Bronx cheers, and Bronx salute thumb to nose and fingers waving” was cited in April 1941.

The “Bronx salute” has meant “the finger” (a middle finger extended from a clenched fist, in a “fuck you” gesture) since at least the 1990s.


Wikipedia: The finger
In Western culture, the finger or the middle finger (as in giving someone the (middle) finger or the bird or flipping someone off,) is an obscene hand gesture. It communicates moderate to extreme contempt, and is roughly equivalent in meaning to “fuck off”, “fuck you”, “shove it up your ass”, “up yours” or “go fuck yourself”. It is performed by showing the back of a hand that has only the middle finger extended upwards, though in some locales the thumb is extended. Extending the finger is considered a symbol of contempt in several cultures, especially in the West.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
13 December 1927, Albany (NY) Times Union, “Loughran Wins Fight With Slattery” by Ed Frayne (New York American), pg. 22, col. 5:
The fans gave Cooper an ovation as he left the ring, and Hull was given the Bronx salute.

3 November 1928, The Daily Republican (Belvidere, IL), “Vast Crowd at Columbus to See Game” by Davis J. Walsh (INS Sports Editor), pg. 8, col. 1:
It will be, for the most part, a highly partisan assemblage, for the community, having fired a volley of Bronx salutes at its football team during the exigencies of an indifferent season in 1927, now has decided that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with a team that wins.

17 August 1929, Evansville (IN) Courier, “Bo-Broadway” by Joseph Van Raalte, pg. 6, col. 7:
Broadway, that still questions the existence of the human soul, naturally conferred upon Brother Davis the Order of the Rawsb’ry, with three palms and a Bronx salute.

Google News Archive
25 July 1931, Pittsburgh (PA) Press, “Letters From Our Readers,” pg. 6, col. 4:
Walter Winchell (also a colyumist) has been giving Heywood the great snicker plus a few heehaws and guffaws mingled with an occasional Bronx Salute.

27 August 1934, New York (NY) Herald Tribune, “Trials of Mexican Fascism,” pg. 10, col. 3:
The gift of little boys for mass satire, crudely exemplified in the Bronx salute, the razz, and certain well known silent expressions, is employed freely in New York without serving any political end.

Google Books
High Fever;
A Novel of the Sales Promotion Decade, the New Economic Era

By Melvin Lostutter
New York, NY: Harper & Brothers Publishers
1935
Pg. 249:
It was as if made at a little distance from the microphone, like the noises amateur broadcasters make sometimes when they think they are out of range of the mike, but are not. It sounded to him very much like that unpleasant noise usually described as the Bronx salute.

22 March 1937, The Evening Times (Sayre, PA), pg. 7, col. 7:
“What is known elsewhere as the Bronx cheer is not the true Bronx salute, which is more of a moo.” Well—just so long as they’re synonymous.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
11 April 1941, .Long Island Daily Press (Jamaica, NY), pg. 15, col. 2 photo caption:
Cheers of the Italians were answered by men ashore with hearty Bronx cheers, and Bronx salute thumb to nose and fingers waving.

Google News Archive
16 April 1941, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), “Even Terry Curious to Discover What Is Wrong With Bowman,” by John Lardner (North American Newspaper Alliance), pg. 13, col. 1:
Will he give the Bronx salute when prodded in the back?

Google News Archive
5 August 1942, The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA), “A Past Master Speaks on the Fine Art of Booing” by John Lardner (North American Newspaper Alliance), pg. 11, col. 1:
AS A STUDENT OF THE American boo, including the Bronx salute, the purple-flowering raspberry, the wolf call, and other manifestations of public displeasure, ...

Google News Archive
24 July 1945, The Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT), “Returning Ball Players Should Be Okeh” by John Lardner (North American Newspaper Alliance), pg. 10, col. 4:
... the Yankees, and Hank was much gratified by the expressions of esteem which arose from the audience in a borough famous for expressions of non-esteem, particularly the so-called Bronx salute or cheer.

13 June 1948, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), Magazine, pg. 16, col. 2:
The bird, the Bronx salute, is known also as the Bronx cheer.

11 July 1965, Poughkeepsie (NY) Journal, “Passing Thoughts” by H. J. T., pg. 16C, col. 6:
The Bronx Salute
The birds got all the currants
As well as every cherry,
And then as if to top it off,
They left one big raspberry.

Google News Archive
11 April 1977, Wilmington (NC) Morning Star, “Apologizes to Nicklaus: Watson took waved for ‘Bronx salute’” (UPI), pg. 16, col. 4:
Watson, playing directly behind Nicklaus and waiting to hit to the same green, mistook Nicklaus’ motion for some form of derision aimed at him. he eventual Masters’ winner thought the Golden Bear was giving him the Bronx salute.

Google Books
The Gentle Dynamiter:
A Biography of Tom Mooney

By Estolv Ethan Ward
Palo Alto, CA: Ramparts Press
1983
Pg. 261:
Tom turned and raised his hand in the Bronx salute, thumb to nose. It was a throwback to the years when Hearst’s Examiner had been the principal outlet for Fickert’s inflammatory blasts.

Google Groups: alt.sports.baseball.balt-orioles
The Bronx Salute!
CASEY #37
10/13/96
(Two middle fingers are shown.—ed.)
BYE BYE LOSERS!  YANKEE PRIDE FOREVER!!!!!

Google Groups: alt.movies.titanic
the bird
AGrugan
2/2/98
I meant to say
The Bronx Salute

Urban Dictionary
Bronx salute
Flipping someone off.
Displaying the middle finger.
The guy who cut me off slammed on his brakes, so I gave him a Bronx salute.
#flip #off #calm #road #rage
by technocat11 December 01, 2010

YouTube
Britney Spears - Middle finger
FekerfantaLovesBrit
Uploaded on May 29, 2011
Britney Spears Middle finger in Mexico City the finger the highway salute the Bronx salute the one-finger salute the one-digit salute the bird flipping off

Twitter
Dan Hoquist
‏@dondanl
@chrislhayes EVERYONE knows what a “Bronx Salute” IS...ask Howard Stern!
11:05 AM - 7 Sep 2012

Google Books
ntro: A Beginners Guide to Communication Sciences and Disorders
By Michael P. Robb
Cram101 Publishing
2013
Pg. ?:
In Western culture, the finger also known as the middle finger, the highway salute, the Bronx salute, the one-finger salute, the bird (as in giving, flipping, or flying the bird), flipping off someone, or (in Canada) the Trudeau salute is an obscene hand gesture, often meaning the phrase ‘fuck you’ or ‘up yours’. In North America it is performed by showing the back of a closed hand that has only the middle finger extended upwards.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityNames/Phrases • Tuesday, September 06, 2016 • Permalink