(From digero, to direct, as the natural instrument of pointing or directing). A finger. In the hands they have particular names. The first, which is opposite to, and thicker than the rest, is called and pollex; the second, index, and salutaris; the third, medius, and longissimus; the fourth,
and annularis; and the fifth, minimus, auri-cularis. The Greeks called the thumb, because it was alone as powerful as the other four fingers, from against, and the hand; and the Latins pollex, from pollendo, for the same reason. The second, or fore finger, index, because, by pointing, discoveries are made, or indications given; and salutaris, because, being applied to the mouth, it causes a salutar,y silence. The third, medius, and longissimus, the middle finger, from its situation and length. The fourth, because it was beyond the middle finger; and annularis, from wearing rings upon it, hence called ring finger. The fifth, auricularis,. from its clearing the ear, and minimus, from its size. The toes have no names. The thumb and the four fingers are each composed of three bones; those of the fingers are formed alike, but those of the thumb are much thicker and stronger, in proportion to their length. On the outside, the bones of the fingers are convex, within flat. Both ends of the first phalanx are in a cartilaginous state at birth. The first joint of the fingers is arthrodia, the two last are ginglymus. The different parts or bones of the fingers are called phalanges; the first phalanx is the largest, and the last the least. (See Phalanx). Digitus, among the Latins, stands also for a measure, similar to dactylus among the Greeks; the smallest measure, by which the distances of space or time are measured, similar to our jot. However, at the present day, it seems to be a measure taken from the breadth of the finger, properly three fourths of an inch, and equivalent to four grains of barley laid breadthwise, so as to touch one another. Astronomers preserve the name in the division of a great circle, digit.