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How would Shakespeare's original audience have interpreted the phrase “bite your thumb”, as used in Act 1, scene i?
At that time, biting the thumb was a figure of speech meaning “reject”
It was a type of gang sign used by the Capulets.
They would have known it as a gesture of contempt and disgrace.
Nobody would have known it because Shakespeare invented it, though it became popular afterwards.
One would use the phrase to say that a person was childish (similar to sucking on a thumb).