Monday, February 6, 2012

¡Pulgar Arriba!

You've likely figured out that pulgar arriba means thumbs up.  It's not much of a stretch to figure out that pulgar abajo means thumbs down. 

Not to knit-pick, but the proper way to say pulgar arriba/abajo is pulgar hacia arriba and pulgar hacia abajo.  But anyone who knows me also knows that I like to speak how the people speak, so I'll be following the crowd and going with pulgar arriba.  You may also hear manita arriba.

I'm sure your Spanish book taught you the word for hand, la mano, and even the word for fingers, dedos de la mano, or simply dedos or deditos.  But as always, those pesky Spanish books are focused on grammar, and often leave out some important details. 

Any Spanish speaking five year old can look at their hand and ramble off the names of their deditos.  Imagine my surprise when after 5+ years of studying Spanish I couldn't do the same. 

Let's do a quick run down of los nombres de los dedos,  starting with the thumb, dedo pulgar.  You can also say dedo gordo

Next we have the índice, or as we call it the index or pointing finger. 

The middle finger is called dedo medio or corazón

The ring finger is dedo anular and last, but not least we get to the pinky, or little finger, dedo meñique.  

FYI, you can drop the word dedo and just refer to each finger by it's name: pulgar, índice, etc.

You can do a lot of interesting things with fingers, let's talk about a few of them.

I can't remember the last time I needed to pinky swear, but in case you ever do the phrase you're looking for is promesa de meñique

There may come a time when you need cruzar los dedos (cross your fingers) or  mantener los dedos cruzados (keep your fingers crossed). 

This next image is probably the most recognized gesture you can make with your fingers.

In Mexico it's called sacar el dedo or pintar el dedo. Maybe a kind reader can tell us what's it's called in other countries.

Well, that's all you can do with fingers that I'm going  to talk about in this blog.

I try to keep this blog family friendly, so if you want to read about some not so innocent things you can do with fingers click here.  

That's it for today,

¡Hasta la próxima!


  1. Cool. I didn't know that! Useful.

    I've always liked the word meñique. (Pinky is pretty cool, too) And it's funny that you listed all the other fingers because I was just reviewing them last week to study body parts for my medical interpreting exam. I like the sound of dedo corazón. Although not nearly as common, it's apparently also called the dedo cordial. Would love to know why!

    I also discovered dedo auricular for pinky-- as in, the finger you'd use to scratch your ear. Eww. It's evidently rarely used.

    The Colombian phrase I know for to give sb the finger is hacer pistola a alguien.

    Great post!

  2. Great post! I discovered your blog a couple of weeks ago and it's very interesting. I really like the fact that you want to speak like the actual people speak, not just what you learn from a book. And, since I've always been interested in studying medicine, could be useful.