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.
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.
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.
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.
Joined: Mar 05, 2008
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.
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!
Joined: Oct 11, 2009
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.