The Historical Significance of the Thumb - No Two Thumbs are Alike in their Markings - What the Thumb Tells - Character as Portrayed by the Fingers
In all ages and all countries, the thumb has played an important part in life generally. During the Roman gladiatorial s, if the audience wished for the death of the fallen combatant, they hold out their hands with the thumb turned ou1 and downwards; if, on the contrary, they desired mercy to be shown, they held out their hands with the thumb hidden by the fingers.
A clumsy thumb, thick-set and short, indicates a person with coarse nature and animal instincts. With very few exceptions, it will be found that idiots have weak, small thumbs, some not even properly formed. One that is well-shaped and long shows intellect and refinement. One writer has very truly said:
"The thumb individualises the man," and, indeed, it often helps to give a very clear insight into character. The thumb should be long, well-shaped, and set neither too close to the hand, nor standing out too sharply from it. The latter indicates a nature liable to go to extremes, to be aggressive and almost impossible to control; the former a nervous, weak nature, cautious and utterly lacking in independence. If a weak thumb is long, the person is likely to use his intellect in a crafty manner to outwit his foe. If it is short and thick, he would use violence secretly.
The divisions of the thumb are three in number - love, logic, and will. The nail phalange denotes will, the second logic, and the third love. When normally developed, all three phalanges are about equal, but if any one of the three is unduly developed, that particular one rules the character. For instance, if the first phalange is longest, then we find the person depends on will alone to carry him through obstacles. It the thumb is small, and the Mount of Venus (the base of the thumb inside the palm) high, then passion or sensuality rules the nature
Another point to notice is whether the thumb is stiff or flexible. If stiff, the thumb cannot be bent back at all. but it flexible, the first phalange will easily bend backwards. The stiff thumb, as a rule, belongs to
Northern races while thec flexible is di tinctive of all Latin races. The latter gives an extravagant, improvident nature, not
Only of money, but of all things in life generally. Those who possess them are very adaptable, have a deep affec tion for race and country, but can easily fit themselves to any environment, and are impulsive. The stiff-jointed thumb gives a nature strong, self-contained, inclining to obstinacy, practical, averse to change, and cautious, and fond of home life.
Thumb with stiff joint
Thumb with flexible joint
The next thing to notice is the form of thumb, and to see whether the second phalange is thick, or has what may be termed a waist. The owner of one such as the latter will possess much tact, but, if thick, the intellect will not be nearly so refined. If the nail phalange is thick and heavy, with a short nail, giving a formation somewhat like a club, then the subject will be governed by brute force, particularly if the thumb is stiff-jointed. Such person, in a fit of passion, would be likely to commit any crime or violence. The next thing of importance is to notice whether the fingers are smooth or have developed joints. If the former, the subject as a rule is quick in thought and jumps to conclusions, often correctly, without much reasoning. Those with developed joints take great care, and exercise their reasoning powers in working out everything.
It must not be forgotten, however, that the type of hand must be taken fully into consideration, as each different type either modifies or more fully confirms these characteristics of thumb and fingers
Short fingers imply a quick, impulsive nature, and if, in addition, they should be thick and fleshy, particularly at the third phalange selfishness and self-indulgence shown. Long fingers give love of detail in every res]
Fingers standing widely apart in-dicate independence in thought and tion; a long first finger. pride and a masterful disposition; a long and heavy second finger a solemn, melan-choly disposition; a long third finger, ambition and a love of honour.
Pointed finger, smooth joints