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Index finger
Index finger.JPG
Human hand with index finger extended
Artery radial artery of index finger
Hand left.svg
Thumb · Index · Middle · Ring · Little

The index finger, (also referred to as, forefinger, trigger finger, pointer finger, digitus secundus, or digitus II), is the first finger and the second digit of a human hand.

It is located between the first and third digits - that is, between the thumb and the middle finger. It is usually the most dextrous and sensitive finger of the hand, though not the longest. A lone index finger often is used to represent the number 1, 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. In sports, it can also represent victory, as some championship-winning teams raise their index finger (often saying "We're number one!") while posing for a championship team photo.

Men are 2.5 times more likely than women to have an index finger which is shorter than their ring finger, and such ratios correlate with an increased likelihood of osteoarthritis, especially for women.[1]



A man pointing at a woman during a political argument.

As mentioned above, the forefinger can be used for pointing. However, pointing directly with the index finger at a person is considered rude in Western culture. A more polite way of pointing to a person would be to direct the hand in their direction, as if holding a plate.

During the Bosnian war, Serbian troops raised three fingers in a sign of victory (which represents the Father, Son and Holy Spirit - the way that orthodox Christians cross themselves), Croatians raised the two-finger V-sign and Bosnians raised one (after the strict monotheism of Islam).


In palmistry the index finger is called the Jupiter finger.

It is related to leadership, authority, confidence and ideals.

"A high set Jupiter finger is an indication of a high need to feel respected. An overly large Jupiter finger shows that the subject likes to be in charge. A bent , twisted or short Jupiter finger often indicates problems with authority figures, self-esteem issues or struggles with personal power." [1]

See also

Additional images


  1. ^ Arthritis & Rheumatism. news release, Jan. 2, 2008

External links

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