fine = F = finger trouble


[WAITS, via BSD Unix] 1. n. A program that displays information about a particular user or all users logged on the system, or a remote system. Typically shows full name, last login time, idle time, terminal line, and terminal location (where applicable). May also display a plan file left by the user (see also Hacking X for Y). 2. vt. To apply finger to a username. 3. vt. By extension, to check a human's current state by any means. "Foodp?" "T!" "OK, finger Lisa and see if she's idle." 4. Any picture (composed of ASCII characters) depicting `the finger'. Originally a humorous component of one's plan file to deter the curious fingerer (sense 2), it has entered the arsenal of some flamers.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

If you know anything to add to this, /msg me. Also, please include whether the language has a seperate word for toe, or whether it just says foot-finger.

The format is parallel to the format for English - the word "fingers" first, then thumb to pinkie.


Thumb Thumbkin
Pointer, Index finger, "towcher" (the finger that touches) longman
Middle finger, middleman
Ring, ringman
Pinkie, little, baby, littleman


Yubi "finger, fingers"
oya "parent"
hitosashi "person-point"
naka "middle"
kusuri "medicine"
ko "small"


scite-finger "the shooting finger"
lech-man "medical finger" or gold-finger (Goldfinger?)




indice "point"


Pal'tsy "fingers"
Bol'shoy palets "big"
Ukazatel'ny palets "pointer"
Sredniy palets "middle"
Bezymyanny palets (nameless, how's that, eh?)
Mizinets (no "palets" after this one, it's a noun, whereas the other names are all adjectives to "palets")


Les doigts (ley dwah): the fingers
Le pouce (luh poos) : the thumb
L'index (lindeks) : the showing finger (pointer)
le majeur (leuh mahjuhr) : the longest finger (middle vinger)
L'annulaire (lahnnulair) : the ring finger
L'auriculaire (Loreekulair) : the finger to scratch your ear (little finger)


De vingers (duh veenghuhrrs): the fingers
De duim (duh duh-im / duh duhm) : the thumb
De wijsvinger (duh wayssveenghuhr) : the pointer
De middelvinger (duh meadle veenghuhr)
De ringvinger (duh reengveenghuhrs)
De pink (duh pink)


Fingrene: ("The fingers:")
Tommel (Thumb)
Pekefinger ("Pointing finger")
Langfinger ("Long finger")
Ringfinger ("Ring finger")
Lillefinger ("Little finger")


kleiner Finger
They have exactly the same meaning as the English ones.

There are some interesting patterns in the naming of fingers - ring finger somehow was known as "medicine finger" both in old english and in japanese. How did that information travel so far?

The story I have heard about the Japanese "medicine finger" is that it was the finger doctors used to apply medicine. There are also some theories related to acupuncture, somewhat similar to the western basis for calling it ring finger - it was thought to have a direct connection to the heart, so it'd be the perfect place for a wedding ring.

About fingers and toes: many languages don't seem to have a word specifically for "toes" - it's more common to call them "foot-fingers".

Languages that have a special word for "toe":

German - 'Zehen' - toes
Norwegian - 'tå' - toe

Languages that call toes "foot-fingers":

Spanish - dedos del pie (correction please)
French - 'doigts de pied'
Japanese - 'ashi no yubi' - "fingers of feet/leg"

Finally, note that there is a kid's joke, "how many fingers do you have?" and when you say 10, they say "no! the thumb isn't a finger, so you have only 8". I know in japanese at least this joke is impossible because they are all called finger explicitly.

Thanks to notbridgetjones for the info for french.

Fin"ger (?), n. [AS. finger; akin to D. vinger, OS. & OHG. fingar, G. finger, Icel. fingr, Sw. & Dan. finger, Goth. figgrs; of unknown origin; perh. akin to E. fang.]


One of the five terminating members of the hand; a digit; esp., one of the four extermities of the hand, other than the thumb.


Anything that does work of a finger; as, the pointer of a clock, watch, or other registering machine; especially Mech. a small projecting rod, wire, or piece, which is brought into contact with an object to effect, direct, or restrain a motion.


The breadth of a finger, or the fourth part of the hand; a measure of nearly an inch; also, the length of finger, a measure in domestic use in the United States, of about four and a half inches or one eighth of a yard.

A piece of steel three fingers thick. Bp. Wilkins.


Skill in the use of the fingers, as in playing upon a musical instrument.


She has a good finger. Busby.

Ear finger, the little finger. -- Finger alphabet. See Dactylology. -- Finger bar, the horizontal bar, carrying slotted spikes, or fingers, through which the vibratory knives of mowing and reaping machines play. -- Finger board Mus., the part of a stringed instrument against which the fingers press the strings to vary the tone; the keyboard of a piano, organ, etc.; manual. -- Finger bowl ∨ glass, a bowl or glass to hold water for rinsing the fingers at table. -- Finger flower Bot., the foxglove. -- Finger grass Bot., a kind of grass (Panicum sanguinale) with slender radiating spikes; common crab grass. See Crab grass, under Crab. -- Finger nut, a fly nut or thumb nut. -- Finger plate, a strip of metal, glass, etc., to protect a painted or polished door from finger marks. -- Finger post, a guide post bearing an index finger. -- Finger reading, reading printed in relief so as to be sensible to the touch; -- so made for the blind. -- Finger shell Zool., a marine shell (Pholas dactylus) resembling a finger in form. -- Finger sponge Zool., a sponge having finger-shaped lobes, or branches. -- Finger stall, a cover or shield for a finger. -- Finger steel, a steel instrument for whetting a currier's knife.

To burn one's fingers. See under Burn. -- To have a finger in, to be concerned in. [Colloq.] -- To have at one's fingers' ends, to be thoroughly familiar with. [Colloq.]


© Webster 1913.

Fin"ger (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Fingered (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Fingering.]


To touch with the fingers; to handle; to meddle with.

Let the papers lie; You would be fingering them to anger me. Shak.


To touch lightly; to toy with.

3. Mus. (a)

To perform on an instrument of music.


To mark the notes of (a piece of music) so as to guide the fingers in playing.


To take thievishly; to pilfer; to purloin.



To execute, as any delicate work.


© Webster 1913.

Fin"ger, v. i. Mus.

To use the fingers in playing on an instrument.



© Webster 1913.

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