So the second truth about me that I’m revealing is that I have very short fingers.


I discovered this when I was in high school and for about the next ten years I would often compare the size of my hands to people I met. And there was only once that I found someone other than a family member who had shorter fingers. She was a girlfriend and a foot shorter than myself. The two family members are my mother and my sister who are about six inches shorter than me.

So I must be a freak of nature. Well not really. I’m talking about the distance from the skin in between the fingers up to the tips. I have what can be best described as bear claws or webbed hands. The skin between my digits rides higher up than normal, but that doesn’t mean I look like a duck. When you compare from the base of the hand to the tips of the fingers, the difference is not as dramatic.

Has this been a handicap at all? Well, I’m not good at the piano or basketball but I am better than average at skill sports like darts and pitching. I can’t say I’ve ever felt at a disadvantage. You would think it would make me a great swimmer, but since my arms are shorter than average (not noticably) they must offset.

So that’s it. Nothing big, but still true.

Update: There’s one thing that the post by Jonas reminded me of. I have a heck of a time finding gloves that fit. The fingers are always to short. Sometimes I can squeeze myself (and stretch out) womens size gloves, but it’s pretty rare. Although the fingers are the right length, my palms are way to big for them. So when I find a pair that fit well like my current winter gloves, I repair them as often as possible to get as much use out of them as possible.

And I just checked out my wingspan. It’s 68 1/4″. An 1 1/2″ short of my height. And I my proper shoe size is 9 1/2. So although we are the same height (which I find hard to believe) I seem to be the physical polar opposite of JP.


~ by Frank on February 6, 2007.

6 Responses to “Mini-digits”

  1. They don’t seem all that short to me. A bit short, but not freaky short. I used to work with a guy a few years ago who had freaky short fingers. It was as if all the tips had been snipped off at the first knuckle. and not only were they short — they were thick. Very bizarre.

  2. Well, I don’t consider them freaky short. But I do still find it odd that I rarely find people with shorter digits.

  3. Yeah, short fingers is a curse in our family. I’ve yet to find someone that is not younger than me that has smaller hands. It always makes interesting conversation when there’s nothing else to say.

    The hinderances I’ve found have been that I can’t grip a basketball, football, etc., have a hard time opening jars with wide opening, often use 2 hands with large jars, and (this kills me) have a difficult time getting change from a vending machine if the money fell towards the back.

    I often have to wear kids gloves or women’s small. Most of the gloves I own are way to big for my hands though and the fingers are filled with a lot of empty space. I love the stretchy knit ones because they fit my hands exactly.

    Other than that, not really a problem. Like other things if you’ve never lived with anything else you don’t know the difference.

    Oh, and I just measured. My middle finger is exactly 2.75 inches (7 centimeters) from base to tip.

  4. I’m a girl with small hands. Well, a few years ago, I decided to buy myself baseball batting gloves. Guess what? The pair I ended up buying was junior MEDIUM size (not even large)! On the upside, it was cheaper for a pair than it was for a single adult-size glove…

    Buying shoes are a much more complex issue for me (wide feet = hard time finding women’s shoes that fit in width).

  5. Nance: Yep, you are one of the three people I know with shorter fingers. I always figured those piano lessons we took wouldn’t go too far because we couldn’t stretch enough for some chords. I hoard those stretchy gloves. Because they fit, they break often, and they are easy to lose.

    Ladyjaye: Oddly, I have not had a problem getting golf gloves which are pretty much like batting gloves. I’m not sure why that is because I always have trouble with winter gloves.

    My father has the same problem with shoes. Luckily I don’t have that problem yet.

    BTW, glad to see that you switched over to blogger. Next you’ll have to join us at WordPress.

  6. Hi,

    Interesting post. Since last year I also noticed that I have short fingers even though my overall hand is statistically about average for a male (7.5 inches). My middle finger is only 3.2 inches (8.2 cm) and my palm is 4.33 inches (11 cm), I use metric because it is more accurate. How long is your hand and middle finger? Apart from my sister who is 5 ft 2.5 inches (I’m 5 ft 8.5) I think I have seen just a few girls with similar finger length.

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