Middle finger


The middle finger, long finger, or tall finger is the third digit of the human hand, located between the index finger and the ring finger. It is typically the longest digit. In anatomy, it is also called the third finger, digitus medius, digitus tertius or digitus III.

Middle finger
Hand - Middle finger.jpg
Middle finger of the left hand
ArteryProper palmar digital arteries,
dorsal digital arteries
VeinPalmar digital veins, dorsal digital veins
NerveDorsal digital nerves of radial nerve, proper palmar digital nerves of median nerve
LatinDigitus III manus, digitus medius manus, digitus tertius manus
Anatomical terminology
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In Western countries, extending the middle finger (either by itself, or along with the index finger in the United Kingdom: see V sign) is an offensive and obscene gesture, widely recognized as a form of insult, due to its resemblance of an erect penis,[1][2] It is known, colloquially, as "flipping the bird",[3] "flipping (someone) off", or "giving (someone) the finger". Similarly, one may extend the middle, ring and pointer fingers to someone and say "read between the lines."[citation needed]

The middle finger is often used for finger snapping together with the thumb.


  1. ^ "When did the middle finger become offensive?". BBC News.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "The shock index: is giving the finger still offensive?". The Guardian.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ Jason Joseph, Rick Joseph (2007). 101 Ways to Flip the Bird. Broadway Books. ISBN 978-0-7679-2681-2.