Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them; which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.
– William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet, Act 1, Scene 1. Sampson tells Gregory that he will bite his thumb at the Montagues. This was apparently an offensive and obscene gesture in Elizabethan England. Sampson’s words illustrate the play’s theme of gender roles, as he tries to assert his masculine pride and honor.