Middle finger
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

The middle finger, long finger, second finger,[1][2] third finger,[3] toll finger or tall man 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.

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.[4][5] It is known, colloquially, as "flipping the bird",[6] "flipping (someone) off", or "giving (someone) the finger".

The middle finger is often used for finger snapping together with the thumb.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ "middle finger". www.vocabulary.com.
  2. ^ "middle finger". TheFreeDictionary.com. Retrieved 17 August 2022.
  3. ^ "third finger". Medical Dictionary. Retrieved 17 August 2022.
  4. ^ "When did the middle finger become offensive?". BBC News. 6 February 2012.
  5. ^ "The shock index: is giving the finger still offensive?". The Guardian. 22 February 2012.
  6. ^ Jason Joseph, Rick Joseph (2007). 101 Ways to Flip the Bird. Broadway Books. ISBN 978-0-7679-2681-2.