• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

How many fingers do normal humans have?

 
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper
Posts: 15354
39
Android IntelliJ IDE Java Scala Spring
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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?
 
Paul Clapham
Sheriff
Posts: 21116
32
Eclipse IDE Firefox Browser MySQL Database
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper
Posts: 15354
39
Android IntelliJ IDE Java Scala Spring
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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
Bartender
Posts: 4567
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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
Author and ninkuma
Marshal
Pie
Posts: 64959
86
IntelliJ IDE Java jQuery Mac Mac OS X
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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.
 
Paul Clapham
Sheriff
Posts: 21116
32
Eclipse IDE Firefox Browser MySQL Database
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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
Ranch Hand
Posts: 3090
14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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
Ranch Hand
Posts: 3090
14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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
Ranch Hand
Posts: 234
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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
Sheriff
Posts: 21116
32
Eclipse IDE Firefox Browser MySQL Database
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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
Ranch Hand
Posts: 234
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yes, 20, or 10 10. (Facts of life)
 
Pat Farrell
Rancher
Posts: 4678
7
Linux Mac OS X VI Editor
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm an American, so who knows what language I use.

When I count to ten on my fingers, I have ten.
 
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal
Pie
Posts: 64959
86
IntelliJ IDE Java jQuery Mac Mac OS X
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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
Ranch Hand
Posts: 234
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
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.
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic