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How many fingers do normal humans have?

Jesper de Jong
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Joined: Aug 16, 2005
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  16

Inspired by what fred and Bear said in this topic...

fred rosenberger wrote:I would say I use all eight fingers, ...

Bear Bibeault wrote:I use 6 fingers (all but my pinkies) and either thumb to hit the space bar.


Do you have eight fingers or ten? Are thumbs not fingers?


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Paul Clapham
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    8

You're asking about English-speaking humans, right? I see the Dutch Wikipedia is pretty clear that the normal hand has five fingers, but the English Wikipedia article about Finger is kind of equivocal about that.
Jesper de Jong
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  16

Yes, just wondering if English-speaking people think they have only 8 fingers.

P.S. if you're looking at the Dutch Wikipedia and are tempted to click on the links at the bottom, beware that "Vingeren" is definitely not safe for work!
Matthew Brown
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    8

I think most British people would say we had 8 fingers and 2 thumbs. Can't speak for other English speakers, but the Australian in the next room agrees with me.
Bear Bibeault
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  65

For me it depends upon context. If someone asked me how many fingers I have, I'd answer 10. But in a discussion of individual digits, such as in the typing thread, I differentiate fingers from thumbs.


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Paul Clapham
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    8

From the biological point of view, fingers (on the hand) are exactly analogous to toes (on the foot). And yet I think it would be hard to find English-speakers who don't classify the big toe as a toe. Even in dialects which have a specific word for the big toe.
Mike Simmons
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    9
Bear Bibeault wrote:For me it depends upon context. If someone asked me how many fingers I have, I'd answer 10. But in a discussion of individual digits, such as in the typing thread, I differentiate fingers from thumbs.

This.

The word "finger" is ambiguous: it may mean any of the 5 digits on a normal human hand, or it may mean any of the 4 that are not the thumb. Which it is depends on context and common sense; there is no absolute rule.
Mike Simmons
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    9
Paul Clapham wrote:From the biological point of view, fingers (on the hand) are exactly analogous to toes (on the foot).

Maybe not exactly analogous - human thumbs are opposable, while big toes are not. That can be seen as an important qualitative difference, I think.
Petar Thomas
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I think that I never thought about the thumb that it is not a finger. I must go to sleep now. It's half past midnight at my place, Croatia, next to Italy.
Paul Clapham
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    8

Hmm... I see from the Croatian Wikipedia entry that "prst" applies both to fingers and toes. So you'd have 20 of them?
Petar Thomas
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Yes, 20, or 10 10. (Facts of life)
Pat Farrell
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    5

I'm an American, so who knows what language I use.

When I count to ten on my fingers, I have ten.
Bear Bibeault
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  65

In Childhood's End the Overlords had two thumbs and five fingers on each hand. I'll bet that math in base 14 is a bitch!
Petar Thomas
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Joined: Oct 11, 2009
Posts: 234
Actually, I wouldn't say that I have 20 fingers. Saying it, it sounds like a half-joke. I would allways say that I have 10. Only specifically I would say ten on legs. This is interesting topic to me somehow, it suprises me.
 
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