Finger-Flinging meaning

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Postby Guest » 02/18/07 03:21 PM

Hi,
i'm Reading the second expanded edition of "Walter Jeans Illusioneer".
I came across the word "Finger-Flinging".
Since i'm Italian and i don't know all the technical magical translation from English to Italian, can anyone of you please tell me what does finger-Flinging mean?
In this case it is obviously referred to Walter Jeans.
"His finger-Flinging " only came later.
What does it mean?
Thanks
Crim
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Postby Guest » 02/18/07 03:25 PM

It's one of the major tells when learning a classic pass, the first finger flying out and perhaps also other fingers extending in what looks like a spasm.
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Postby Jim Morton » 02/19/07 03:12 PM

It's one of the major tells when learning a classic pass
That may be, but I don't think that is what it means in this context. "Finger-flinging" is often used to mean the same thing as "finger-flicking," which means some who likes to use difficult or virtuoso sleight-of-hand when performing magic. It usually refers to card magic. Some people use it as an insult while, for others, it is a badge of pride.

Jim
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Postby Guest » 02/19/07 04:15 PM

Sorry Jim, but if the audience knows the magician is using sleight of hand.. the magician has failed to produce the magic.

Of course if they want to be jugglers... that is okay too.
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Postby Jim Morton » 02/19/07 05:00 PM

Crimsonking,

Since you are speaking English as a second language, I should warn you that Jonathan is being a little facetious here because he doesn't like finger flingers (or flickers). I suspect that the author of the book you are reading feels the same way.

Jim
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Postby Guest » 02/20/07 01:13 AM

"Finger-flinging" is slang for sleight of hand, prestidigitation, or legerdemain. It carries the connotation of contempt for the expert at sleight of hand, from magicians who feel they're above such things.

Other magicians may wonder if they're beneath such things, and it allows for a lot of arguments. Here's what Henry Hay had to say in his Cyclopedia Of Magic, via Wikipedia .
" There are successful illusionists and apparatus conjurers who can do no sleight of hand at all, but their difficulties and restrictions deserve our sympathy rather than our scorn. As entertainers they are far ahead of those incredibly skillful sleight of hand students who can do tricks but no magic. "
[
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Postby Guest » 02/20/07 04:54 AM

"Finger flinging" is the term I always used to see (usually with derogatory connotations), and "finger flicking" seems to be a more recent coinage. And of course the German group known as the "Fertigen Finger" call themselves "The Flicking Fingers" in English.

"Finger flicking" also gets a lot more hits on Google than "finger flinging", not all of them to do with magic.
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Postby Guest » 02/20/07 06:27 AM

Fling means to throw.

So literally I guess it is Finger Throwing

I always thought it was used like 'knuckle busting' - ie a difficult move.

Damian
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Postby Guest » 02/20/07 08:30 AM

From the newly (re)released Bart Whaley "The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Magic":

Finger-flinger; noun - Magicians slang for a sleight-of-hand artist; a finger flicker; a finger flipper. This is a mildly derogatory term when used by apparatus conjurers and mentalists [common].


As JT points out by his statements up above, perhaps the use of the term has expanded beyond the definition given above.
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Postby Guest » 02/20/07 07:13 PM

It's a funny term in that ...

If they are guessing you used sleight of hand, it's a compliment.

If they are describing your methods... it's not.

But as to entomology, here's a good source of its root meaning and context: Vernon and Fingers that Fling

No disrespect to sleight of hand intended. Heck some of us even use sleight of hand. ;)
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Postby Guest » 03/05/07 09:45 AM

What does the study of insects have to do with the meaning of the phrase "finger flinging?"

The cases in which "finger flinging" is used in a derogatory context are those in which the focus is on the complexity of the sleight of hand and not on the results.

Great sleight of hand without any entertainment value at all is not good magic.
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Postby Harry Lorayne » 03/06/07 11:03 AM

Don't know if any of you are interested in my "take" on finger flinging, but if you are - I did a full editorial on it way back in the September, 1979 issue of APOCALYPSE. Then, because so many people asked me to - I repeated that editorial in the June, 1987 issue. If you have the bound volumes of APOCALYPSE, you can find these editorials easily. Let me know what you think. Best - HARRY LORAYNE.
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Postby Bill McFadden » 03/06/07 11:23 AM

I believe the politically correct term is now, "move monkey."
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Postby Guest » 04/10/07 02:21 AM

> Sorry Jim, but if the audience knows the magician is using sleight of hand.. the magician has failed to produce the magic. <

While I agree one-hundred percent with this sentiment, let us not forget that for hundreds of years, what we -- magicians, illusionists, conjurers -- do was, in fact, called "juggling, jongling," or variations thereof.

If your magic was TOO good -- ie: with no seeming explanation -- you risked being literally burned at the stake. Several performers were forced to expose their effects in order to save their lives.

Greg Edmonds
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Postby Guest » 04/10/07 08:25 AM

D'you know i think that that it should read..

If the audience Cares wether the magician is using sleight of hand or not .. the magician has failed to produce the magic. <
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Postby Guest » 05/07/07 10:57 AM

From Hugard's Magic Monthly of July, 1951 -

"Finger-flingers. This word was originated by the late J.N. Hilliard to denote adepts in slight of hand. I do not know if Mr. Hilliard intended the term to have a derogatory meaning, but that is the way it is now used. Too often, one hears a very clever performance of magic termed "a mere exhibition of finger-flinging." It is true that sometimes, too great an insistence is placed on the use of sleights, but one cannot be a true magicians unless one has the basic sleights at one's finger-tips."
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Postby Guest » 05/07/07 01:45 PM

>>>It is true that sometimes, too great an insistence is placed on the use of sleights, but one cannot be a true magicians unless one has the basic sleights at one's finger-tips." >>>>

What are the slights one cannot be a true magician without?

P&L
D
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Postby Guest » 05/07/07 03:48 PM

>>>It is true that sometimes, too great an insistence is placed on the use of sleights, but one cannot be a true magicians unless one has the basic sleights at one's finger-tips." >>>>

What are the slights one cannot be a true magician without?

P&L
D
________________________________________

Sorry Dee, you'll have to ask Jean Hugard, who wrote the above quoted paragraph. Unfortunately, he doesn't post here.
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Postby Guest » 05/07/07 03:59 PM

Dee, David, for a nominal fee I could get in touch with Jean Hugard for you. No sweat.
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Postby Guest » 05/07/07 05:05 PM

I believe there is another slang-angle to the term--but maybe this was just a regional usage...?

Finger-flinging does have to do with difficult, knuckle-busting/virtuoso sleight-of-hand, but also with an element of showing off.
--Unlike poppin' wheelies on your bike, or burning rubber with your car, nobody in the audience is supposed to notice it at all.
A stud finger flinger, who may even have been able to use an easier method to accomplish the same end, will clench his jaw and whip-off a half-dozen invisible passes just because he can.

Thus, I suppose it is almost, extra-difficult sleight-of-hand for impressing magicians. The audience sees nothing, but we, knowing what is going on underneath, hear sqealing tires in the backs of our minds, as the maestro does metaphorical doughnuts in a parking lot for our benefit.

The times I have actually heard the term used in seriousness were always when someone or a groups of guys were really letting it fly. --Trying to top each other, or keeping a string of incredible happenings going--like a jam session.

It was usually one of the oldsters who would pull you over to a group of guys and say, "Boy the fingers are really flingin'!".

Thus, what that phrase means to me is looking over somebody's shoulder and watching Daryl, Derek Dingle, Michael Weber do stuff with a deck of cards that makes you want to weep tears of glee.
...I have only seen finger-flinging on rare occasions, and it had nothing to do with any tell-tale flutters, it was when some amazing [censored] was going down!

P.S.
Of course, we also use the term because it is aliterary and dorky like bees knees or hostess w/the mostess--because we all wish we were hip, and around it the 20s and 30s... ;)
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Postby Guest » 05/07/07 05:26 PM

Sorry Dee, you'll have to ask Jean Hugard, who wrote the above quoted paragraph. Unfortunately, he doesn't post here.>>>>

DAMMIT!

David, you're such a tease...

P&L
D
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Postby Guest » 05/07/07 06:02 PM

All this stuff about jaw clenching, white knuckled showing off is hardly conducive to offering a performance that looks like the performer is using magic. Wasn't there something about that in the 'erdnase' text?

Anyway... it keeps the twitchy teens and flourishers busy and sometimes they find things useful to others. :D
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Postby Guest » 05/09/07 08:45 AM

Harry Riser once told me that there were two groups of card men in Chicago during the late 1950's. One group was the Marlo followers. The other followed another card magician (possibly Al Leech -- Harry didn't say).

The two cardmen were having an exhibition, basically a "card-off." One of the followers of "the other guy" turned to Harry after his idol had finished a trick and said, "____ is the best. He did the pass six times during that last routine."

Harry turned to him and said, "Yes, he's the best all right. By the way. Ed did the pass eight times in the routine he did. But you didn't see it."
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Postby Pete Biro » 05/09/07 09:59 AM

I remember reading someone's post about seeing a well-known card worker and described the routine, including the sleight uses.

My comment was "He couldn't have been that good as you NOTICED the sleight."

Anyone watching, lay or? can see the sleights if they are not done well or misdirected well.
Stay tooned.
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Postby Guest » 05/09/07 10:00 AM

I was told a story, I can't recall by who, but it seems appropriate here.

A wannabe card guy took his boss to a Chicago bar where his idol was holding court. The teller of the story to me did not include the name of the idol.

The card idol did a series of Four Ace Tricks of his own devising, each more difficult in execution that the previous, each massively impressive to the tyro card guy.

When the left the bar the wannabe turned to his boss to get his reaction. The boss, a layman, said, "Well, he seems like a nice guy, it's just too bad he only knows one trick."
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Postby Guest » 05/09/07 05:50 PM

I hesitate to put too fine a point on it, but I always interpreted "finger-flinger" as being a pejorative term. That is, it was designed to have a DISPARAGING effect...to belittle...I suppose it could in some cases be considered DEROGATORY, which more precisely means to impair the whole or detract, as from authority...

However...

I overheard another Chicago card expert, when asked if he was a finger-flinger, replied: "...which is the opposite of WHAT?"

Now this:

Marlo, after seeing a visiting finger-flinger do his "stuff," seemed unusually quiet. I asked, "Didn't you think he was good?"

"Oh, yes," said Marlo. "He is good, very good..."

His voice trailed off. I pressed on: "I sense there is a missing 'but' in what you just said?" Marlo said that he really liked the guy and thought some of his ideas were brilliant.

Marlo finally added that a lot depends on attitude and approach. "Many of his routines," he finally said, "were filled with FASCINATING SUSPICION."

Those last two words still resonate.

Onward...
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Postby Pete Biro » 05/09/07 07:32 PM

The Roc has spoke :genii:
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Postby John LeBlanc » 05/09/07 08:59 PM

Jon Racherbaumer writes:
Those last two words still resonate.
Examining our own belly buttons gets in the way of looking our audiences in the eyes.

John
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