The index finger (also referred to as forefinger, first finger, pointer finger, trigger finger, digitus secundus, digitus II, and many other terms) is the second digit of a human hand. It is located between the thumb and the middle finger. It is usually the most dextrous and sensitive digit of the hand, though not the longest. It is shorter than the middle finger, and may be shorter or longer than the ring finger (see digit ratio).
|Artery||Radial artery of index finger, |
proper palmar digital arteries,
dorsal digital arteries
|Vein||Palmar digital veins, dorsal digital veins|
|Nerve||Dorsal digital nerves of radial nerve, proper palmar digital nerves of median nerve|
|Latin||Digitus II manus, digitus secundus manus, index|
A lone index finger held vertically is often used to represent the number 1 (but finger counting differs across cultures), or when held up or moved side to side (finger-wagging), it can be an admonitory gesture. With the hand held palm out and the thumb and middle fingers touching, it represents the letter d in the American Sign Language alphabet.
Pointing with the pointer finger may be used to indicate or identify an item, person, place or object.
Around age one, babies begin pointing to communicate relatively complex thoughts, including interest, desire, and information. Pointing in human babies can demonstrate the theory of mind, or ability to understand what other people are thinking. This gesture may form one basis for the development of human language.
Non-human primates, lacking the ability to formulate ideas about what others are thinking, use pointing in much less complex ways. However, corvids, dogs and elephants do understand finger pointing.
Index finger in IslamEdit
In Arabic, the index or fore finger is called musabbiḥa (مُسَبِّحة), mostly used with the definite article: al-musabbiḥa (الْمُسَبِّحة). Sometimes also as-sabbāḥa (السَّبّاحة) is used. The Arabic verb سَبَّحَ - which shares the same root as the Arabic word for index finger - means to praise or glorify God by saying: "Subḥāna Allāh" (سُبْحانَ الله)
Gestures in artEdit
As an artistic convention, the index finger pointing at the viewer is in the form of a command or summons. Two famous examples of this are recruiting posters used during World War I by the United Kingdom and the United States.
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- "first finger - definition of first finger in English | Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries | English. Retrieved 2017-06-08.
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- Katie Collins (October 10, 2013). "Elephants found to understand human pointing without training". Wired UK.
- Scott, David Clark (12 April 1990). "A Thumb Points the Way in Java". The Christian Science Monitor.
...figures in some reliefs can be seen pointing - with their thumbs. "Pointing with the index finger is a terrible thing to do. It means death or violence. People used their thumb for polite pointing and it's still the same today, notes Jan Fontein, curator of the exhibition of ancient Indonesian sculpture sponsored by Mobil Indonesia...
- Drißner, Gerald (2016). Islam for Nerds - 500 Questions and Answers. Berlin: createspace. p. 521. ISBN 978-1530860180.
- "What does it mean when a Muslim raises the index-finger?". Arabic for Nerds. 2016-12-31. Retrieved 2019-07-18.
- Brusati, Celeste; Enenkel, Karl A. E.; Melion, Walter (Nov 11, 2011). The Authority of the Word: Reflecting on Image and Text in Northern Europe, 1400-1700. Brill. p. 168. ISBN 978-9004215153.
Media related to Index fingers at Wikimedia Commons