Definitions

putty one hands

Little finger

The little finger, often called the pinky in American English and pinkie in Scottish English (from the Dutch word pink, meaning little finger), is the most ulnar and usually smallest finger of the human hand, opposite the thumb, next to the ring finger. It is also called the anti-thumb, the fifth finger, the baby finger, or the fourth finger colloquially.

Muscles

There are four muscles that control the little finger, three of which comprise a group called the hypothenar eminence :

Cultural significance

Gestures

In the USA a pinky swear or pinky promise is made when a person wraps one of their pinky fingers around the other person's pinky and makes a promise. Traditionally, it's considered binding, and the idea was originally that the person who breaks the promise must cut off his pinky finger. In a similar vein, among members of the Japanese yakuza (gangsters), the penalty for various offenses is removal of parts of the little finger (known as yubitsume).

Also in Japan, holding up a little finger while speaking of two people signifies that they are in a relationship. This little finger substitution is considered vulgar and old-fashioned, however, in some anime scenes is intentionally used to enhance its silliness

In India, holding up the little finger is a signal that the person has to urinate.

Similarly, in Indonesia, when a man points his little finger downward it is a signal that he needs to urinate.

In Turkey and in Colombia, it's tradition to link little fingers when two people are making a bet.

In Judaism, it is customary to extend one's arm and little finger to the Torah as it is lifted following its reading in the Synagogue.

In Israel, if one hands out his or her hand to another, with only the little finger lifted, it is a sign of reconciliation (called a "Sholem, usually used by younger children).

In Russia, when two people are French-kissing, it is customary to often link little fingers together.

In some Western cultures (Such as Australia), the wriggling or bending back and forth of the little finger indicates a small penis, an insult to the person whom it is directed to. An Australian government project was to try and encourage people to follow the act of wriggling or bending there small finger back and forth to insult drivers that were speeding on the roads to tell the driver that they too think the same about the project slogan, "Speeding, nobody thinks big of you", meaning if you speed everybody knows your just trying to impress others because it's the only way you think you can when you have a small penis. The project was to encourage drivers to not speed on the roads, using the small penis gesture as a benefit.

Chapman University students hold up one pinky as a sign of professionalism.

Rings

The Iron Ring is a symbolic ring worn by most Canadian engineers. The Ring is a symbol of both pride and humility for the engineering profession, and is always worn on the little finger of the dominant hand.

In the United States the Engineer's Ring is a stainless steel ring worn on the fifth finger of the working hand by engineers that belong to the Order of the Engineerand have accepted the Obligation of an Engineer.

Signet rings are often worn on the little finger.

Fingernails

In the Balkans, a solitary long fingernail on the pinky finger of a man signifies that he is single. In Bulgaria, a long fingernail on the pinky finger is considered "fashion" by working-class men.

The nail on this finger is also sometimes grown by recreational drug users to scoop powders for insufflation.

References

See also

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