Show of HandsShow of Hands

IMO November 16th, 2019 5:27am

Most would agree: we have five fingers on each hand. Yet we commonly identify the index finger as the first, as if the thumb doesn’t qualify. Do you consider your thumb to be a finger?

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DTinCA Klaatu Barada Nikto
12/30/19 4:20 pm

Late to the party here, but we have five DIGITS on each hand, 4 fingers and one thumb.

11/20/19 5:44 am

It’s a finger and our most important one. It is also one of if not the biggest separators between humans and other animals on earth. πŸ‘

Robert0111 Oscar Romeo
11/19/19 11:29 am

I don't actually believe the thumb is considered a finger.

The thumb is a digit it isn't technically a finger, it does not have enough bones or enough joints to be considered a finger.

TomLaney1 Jesus is Lord
11/19/19 11:05 pm

Exactly. And it was designed for opposition, without which we couldn't effectively grasp or pick things up.

OldCC A filthy commie
11/18/19 7:54 am

The thumb is a finger. A short, stubby, sideways finger.

Robert0111 Oscar Romeo
11/19/19 11:30 am

It's not it doesn't have enough joints nor does it have enough bones to be considered finger.

Talren Libertarian Socialist
11/17/19 1:40 pm

I’m a pianist, so to me the thumb is the first finger and the index finger is the second.

mewells Arkansas
11/17/19 11:55 am

Regardless of the index/1st finger rationale, we all know which is the middle finger. That would make the thumb a finger.

ladyniner81 no hope for humanity
11/17/19 5:36 am

I hurt my thumb. I did not realize there are things you cannot do without it. I'd say it's kind of a finger. A big finger

me2nokneez California
11/17/19 2:42 am

I call them digits and I call my big toe my thumb toeπŸ€”

CudOfCow Oregon
11/17/19 1:31 am

If you give someone the finger by waving their thumb at them, they usually get the wrong message, I've found.

TomLaney1 Jesus is Lord
11/16/19 11:50 pm

It's functionally different. Furthermore, look at the way it is attached to the hand. Count the bones of the thumb as opposed to the bones of the fingers. Clearly, it is meant to be different. That is why we refer to our thumbs as "opposable thumbs." If they were not designed that way, we could not grab and hold things as effectively as we now can.

NHauxx57 WA
11/16/19 10:25 pm

Why does it matter.

Robert0111 Oscar Romeo
11/19/19 11:31 am

Seeing as I've already attacked one person for it I think it matters.

11/16/19 9:24 pm

In my professional life (physical therapist), the index is the 2nd digit. Colloquially, it’s 4 fingers and the thumb.

So, both.

TheSpookyGhost paleoconservative
11/16/19 6:10 pm

I have literally never heard anyone say that the thumb is not a finger.

11/16/19 5:07 pm

A thumb is a thumb.It is not a ring finger,index finger,middle finger,or little finger. Has anybody said it’s a thumb finger. No the answer is it is a thumb

thebob Medford Oregon
11/16/19 3:47 pm

I agree thumb isn’t a finger but a finger is not a thumb. And a spleen is just a spleen.

me2nokneez California
11/16/19 6:20 pm

Thebob. And a rose is a rose is a rose

mrscheisskopf2 Kentucky
11/16/19 2:22 pm

The thumb is both a finger and doesn’t count as one at the same time

mrscheisskopf2 Kentucky
11/16/19 2:22 pm

Schroedingers finger

imanag My heaven on Earth
11/16/19 7:32 am

All thumbs are fingers, but not all fingers are thumbs. πŸ‘

JulesVerne Live long, and prosper
11/16/19 9:12 am

Ooh. Someone who understands that set inclusion is not the same as set equality!

Zebera5659 Kennewick WA
11/16/19 9:12 am

You beat me to it

tdaddy Kentucky
11/16/19 11:06 am

No pinky is a thumb either.

bluefish empiricism and love
11/16/19 7:17 am

I grew up in Germany, so I count with the thumb first. However, I feel like the word "finger" refers to digits other than the thumb.

IEatzCookies Alderaan
11/16/19 6:27 am

I still count the index finger first, but I would still consider the thumb a finger

Ebola007 Florida
11/16/19 5:28 am

The thumb is the 1st finger (digit).

Robert0111 Oscar Romeo
11/19/19 11:31 am

The thumb is a digit yes but a digit doesn't inherently mean finger.

The thumb does not have enough or joints to be considered a finger... if you're asking yourself what is it then -it's a thumb.

Ebola007 Florida
11/19/19 11:37 am

Wrong. It’s a finger. You’re just making up your own definition.

Ebola007 Florida
11/19/19 12:20 pm

Your own reference says that the thumb is considered to be a finger by some.

I’m referring to the scientific designation of the thumb as a finger not how the term is used in literature.

Robert0111 Oscar Romeo
11/19/19 12:23 pm


did I just find the one person in the world that doesn't know there's two types of dictionaries?

Ebola007 Florida
11/19/19 12:25 pm

The thumb is the first digit (finger) of the hand.

The English word "finger" has two senses, even in the context of appendages of a single typical human hand:

Any of the four terminal members of the hand, specifically those other than the thumb.
Any of the five digits.
Linguistically, it appears that the original sense was the broader of these two: penkwe-ros (also rendered as penqrós) was, in the inferred Proto-Indo-European language, a suffixed form of penkwe (or penqe), which has given rise to many Indo-European-family words (tens of them defined in English dictionaries) that involve or flow from concepts of fiveness.


Ebola007 Florida
11/19/19 12:27 pm

So it appears that we could both be right but I am the most correct when considering the origin of the word.

Robert0111 Oscar Romeo
11/19/19 1:07 pm

this is possible.

here is a biological definition of finger.

Robert0111 Oscar Romeo
11/19/19 1:09 pm

For the record there is prescriptive and descriptive dictionaries, a dictionary can tell you what the word is supposed to mean or how the word is used.

I honestly don't know why I'm being so sassy about such a simple topic in the end we both could be right in our respective opinions.

SuperAgain They lie, Get Over It
11/16/19 5:04 am

My five-fingered hands vote yes. βœ‹πŸ»πŸ€šπŸ»

DTinCA Klaatu Barada Nikto
11/16/19 1:39 am


Krystina Let Freedom Reign
11/16/19 12:56 am

Technically the thumb is unique. But the word “fingers” is used in two different ways; one in reference to any of the actual 4 fingers on each hand, the other to mean all five digits on each hand. We probably use “fingers” because “digits” sounds a bit too clinical.

susanr Colorado
11/16/19 12:14 am

We could just call them “digits” and avoid the issue.

Wert A picture of my junk
11/15/19 11:45 pm

Five? Is that like an average or something?

bluerum29 optimistic idealist
11/15/19 11:31 pm

No. You have 8 fingers and 2 thumbs.

bluerum29 optimistic idealist
11/15/19 11:32 pm

The thumb is a phalanx, fingers are phalanges. Different bones.

Wert A picture of my junk
11/16/19 1:27 pm

And thumbs are opposable. Index fingers fit nostrils, the only real evidence of potential intelligent design.

IMO atoms, space, opinion
11/15/19 11:11 pm

There doesn’t seems to be a right answer. There are many reliable sources on both sides of the fence. It’s an appendage much like the others but it has a different bone structure and muscle group than the other, non-opposing digits. Despite what you call it, it’s not only a critical part of the hand but a crucial part of what makes us human.

Sentinel Ya ie wa noh
11/15/19 10:42 pm

It is another unique digit.....