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Ring finger
Ring finger.JPG
The ring finger on this hand is circled.
Latin digitus annularis
Fingers
Hand left.svg
Thumb · Index · Middle · Ring · Little

The ring finger is the fourth digit of the human hand, and the second most ulnar finger, located between the middle finger and the little finger. It is also called digitus medicinalis, the fourth finger, digitus annularis, digitus quartus, or digitus IV in anatomy.

Contents

Etymology

According to László A. Magyar, the names of the ring finger in many languages reflect an ancient belief that it is a magical finger. It is named after magic or rings, or called nameless. [1]

  1. The medical finger. Some cultures named it after its supposed magic power, especially the healing power. An example of the idea of its healing power is Bhaisajyaguru, the Medicine Buddha, who uses his right ring finger for medicine.
    • English: leech finger
    • Japanese: 薬指 kusuri-yubi (medicine finger)
    • Korean: 약지 yak-ji (medicine finger)
    • Latin: digitus medicinalis (medical finger)
  2. The ring finger. Some cultures associated it to magic rings. This is particularly common in European languages.
    • Albanian: gishti i unazës (ring finger)
    • Armenian: մատանեմատ (ring finger)
    • Bengali: Onamika (ring finger)
    • Catalan: dit anular (ring finger)
    • Cornish: bys-bysow (ring finger)
    • Croatian: prstenjak (ring finger)
    • Czech: prsteníček (ring finger)
    • Danish: ringfinger (ring finger)
    • Dutch: ringvinger (ring finger)
    • English: ring finger
    • French: annulaire (ring finger)
    • Galician: dedo anular (ring finger)
    • German: Ringfinger (ring finger)
    • Hebrew:קמיצה (kemitzah)
    • Hungarian: gyűrűsujj (ring finger)
    • Icelandic: baugfingur (ring finger)
    • Irish: méar fáinne (ring finger)
    • Italian: dito anulare (ring finger)
    • Latin: digitus annularis (ring finger)
    • Latvian: zeltnesis (gold carrier)
    • Malay: jari manis (sweet finger)
    • Norwegian: ringfinger (ring finger)
    • Persian:'انگشت انگشتری' (ring finger)
    • Polish: palec serdeczny (lit. cordial finger, etymology is from "heart" - in Polish "serce" which means "heart", because it's rather "finger of heart") (ring finger)
    • Portuguese: dedo anelar (ring finger)
    • Romanian: degetul inelar (ring finger)
    • Slovak: prstenník (ring finger)
    • Slovenian: prstanec (ring finger)
    • Spanish: dedo anular (ring finger)
    • Swahili: cha pete (of the ring)
    • Swedish: ringfinger (ring finger)
    • Tagalog: palasingsingan (ring finger)
    • Tamil: Mothira Viral (ring finger)
    • Turkish: Yüzük parmağı (ring finger)
    • Vietnamese: Ngón đeo nhẫn (ring finger)
  3. The nameless finger. Many cultures avoided the true name of a powerful entity, and called it indirectly or called it nameless.
    • Bulgarian: безименен пръст (nameless finger)
    • Cantonese: 無名指 mo ming ji (nameless finger)
    • Finnish: nimetön (sormi) (nameless finger)
    • Gan: 冇名指 mau miang chi (nameless finger)
    • Georgian: ara titi (no finger/useless finger)
    • Japanese: 名無し指 nanashi-yubi (nameless finger)
    • Lithuanian: bevardis (nameless)
    • Mandarin: 無名指/无名指 wú míng zhǐ (nameless finger)
    • Persian: binàme (nameless)
    • Russian: безымянный палец (nameless finger)
    • Sanskrit: anámika (nameless)
    • Tatar: atsyz parmak (nameless finger)
    • Ukrainian: безіменний палець (nameless finger)
  4. In other languages this finger takes its name from its place between the other fingers.
    • Latin: digitus medio proximus (the finger next to the middle)
    • Greek: παράμεσος paramesos (para = next to + mesos = in the middle: the finger next to the middle finger)
    • Serbian: domali prst (the finger next to the little)

The wedding ring

In Western cultures a wedding ring is traditionally worn on the ring finger. This developed from the Roman "annulus pronubis" when the man gave a ring to the woman at the betrothal ceremony. According to tradition in some countries (derived from Roman belief), the wedding ring is worn on the left ring finger because the vein in the left ring finger, referred to as the vena amoris was believed to be directly connected to the heart, a symbol of love. Blessing the wedding ring and putting it on the bride's finger dates from the 11th century. In medieval Europe, the Christian wedding ceremony placed the ring in sequence on the index, middle, and ring fingers of the left hand, representing the trinity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit respectively. The ring was then left on the ring finger. In a few European countries, the ring is worn on the left hand prior to marriage, then transferred to the right during the ceremony. For example, a Greek Orthodox bride wears the ring on the left hand prior to the ceremony, then moves it to the right hand after the wedding. In England, the 1549 Prayer Book declared "the ring shall be placed on the left hand". By the 17th and 18th centuries the ring could be found on any finger after the ceremony - even on the thumb.

In Norway, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Poland, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Latvia, some countries of former Yugoslavia and in Spain (except in the former Crown of Aragon (Principality of Catalonia, Kingdom of Valencia, Kingdom of Majorca and Kingdom of Aragon) the wedding ring is worn on the ring finger of the right hand. In the Netherlands, Protestants traditionally wear their engagement ring on the ring finger of the left hand, and their wedding ring on the ring finger of the right hand (a practice which is also widespread in Germany), whereas Roman Catholics do the opposite. In the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, the wedding ring on the ring finger of the left hand is traditional among Roman Catholics living in the provinces of West Flanders and East Flanders and in part of Limburg, but not elsewhere.

In a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, the groom places the ring on the bride's index finger, and not the ring finger; Today the ring usually is moved to the ring finger after the ceremony and most Jewish grooms have adopted wearing a wedding ring. This tradition is because in Ancient Israel, at the time of the Talmud, the Jews believed the index finger was closest to the heart, whereas Christians thought that it was the ring finger.

In the Indian wedding tradition, the left hand is considered inauspicious. Hence the wedding ring is worn on the right hand. However, despite tradition, some wear the ring on the left hand, matching cultural practice in some western countries.

Other

  • The ratio between index and ring finger is believed to be linked to exposure to the male hormone testosterone in the womb. On average, men tend to have longer ring fingers and women longer index fingers. The higher the testosterone, the greater the length of the ring finger and the more "masculine" the resulting child – whether male or female. The longest ring finger is known as the "Casanova pattern".[2]
  • In a study of stock traders, Cambridge University researchers found that the most successful had a relatively long ring finger. According to these experts, the finger-length ratio was boosted by higher levels of testosterone in the womb during a crucial phase of gestation. Traders with long ring fingers made up to 11 times the earnings of their counterparts, the study found.[3]
  • Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley found the difference in the length between women's ring fingers and index fingers tend to be greater for lesbians than straight women. The same study also found that a greater difference in length of men's ring fingers and index fingers for gay men with several older brothers as compared to straight men.[4]
  • Scientists at the University of Bath found that children who had longer ring fingers are better with numbers-based subjects such as maths and physics, which are traditionally male favourites.
  • A study[citation needed] showed autism may be linked with exposure to testosterone in the womb. Autism is sometimes described as the "extreme male brain" and is four times more common in boys than girls - although this traditional figure has been challenged by recent findings. Finger length might provide an early warning of the condition.
  • Canadian researchers from the University of Alberta have found a correlation between length of the ring finger and levels of physical aggression – as would be expected in the most masculinised individuals. [2]
  • It is the weakest of the fingers on the hand, as it shares a flexor muscle with the middle and little fingers. It is the only finger that cannot be fully extended by the majority of people, in itself separately.
  • It is common to wear an academy signet ring on the opposite ring finger to the wedding ring finger, in western society this is the right ring finger.

References








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