Why Is Small Finger Called a Pinky

The term ‘Pinky’ has been derived from the Dutch word ‘pink’ meaning the ‘little finger’. It refers to the smallest finger of human hand located opposite the thumb, next to the ring finger. In colloquial language it may designate following terms as well:

  • The anti-thumb,
  • The fifth finger,
  • The baby finger,
  • The fourth finger.

Social Connotations

When a person enters into some sort of social binding, such as a promise or commitment, he takes the initiative to extend his pinky to wrap across that of the other person with whom he is going to enter the deal.

Pinky Finger Why Is Small Finger Called a Pinky

In old ages, this used to be a very severe kind of binding as the defaulter was supposed to cut off his pinky in case he happened not to keep his or her word. Preserving the same spirit of the tradition, Yakuza, the Japanese gangsters, cut parts of pinky as punishment for different offenses.

Similarly, when speaking of two people while holding your pinky means that people under discussion are in a relationship. This pinky substitutions gesture is considered vulgar and employed in some anime scenes in Japanese films probably on purpose.

Pointing a finger at somebody holds offensive consequences in different cultures differently. For example, in China if you hold up pinky at some body he will be offended and same reaction is expected of an American if shown the middle finger in the manner.

In Indian culture a pinky flash is the indication of a broken relationship, colloquially put as “Katti”, literally meaning a dissolution of friendship knot; a moody pinky flash can be a dainty gesture that you do not approve a certain move of your friend and hence pretend to be off with him / her unless he or she manages to please you.

Also in the same regional setting (Indian) it is a gesture that you are seeking permission from your social superior to go for voiding. However, the same act perpetrated for the same cause, urination, assumes a topsy-turvy gesture in a cultural setting such as that of Indonesia.

When two people come together to link their pinkies intact, this is the indication, in Turkey, that they are going to make a mutual bet.

It constitutes part of the liturgical rites in Judaism to extend one’s arm and pinky finger to the Torah, the way it is extended after reading Torah in the Synagogue.

When Russians do French-kissing, they are used to hold each other’s pinkies.

In some western cultures a bending pinky gesture is an offensive reference to small penis of the person whom the gesture is shown. This is a potential insult as the person attributed is offended to have been considered an impotent.

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