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Answerman - Why Do Guys In Anime Raise A Pinky Finger When Talking About Girls?


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invalidname
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 11 Aug 2004
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Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:19 am Reply with quote
Glad you mentioned the Sound Euphonium ED as an example of this. This season’s Bloom Into You is doing the same thing in its ED.
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Crabtree1



Joined: 14 Mar 2018
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Location: Aberdeenshire
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:01 pm Reply with quote
Not completely unrelated, but... in the UK (and some other countries I'd imagine) when a woman is talking about a guy and she has her pinky up it usually has the rather unromantic connotations of a guy having... a wee one...

I think I'd rather stick to Japan's version
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:32 pm Reply with quote
The whole idea of the red string of fate seems charmingly romantic the first few times, but I think I've seen it mentioned or used a bit too often lately. The charm has kind of worn off at this point.
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Yune Amagiri



Joined: 28 Jul 2016
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Location: France
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:43 pm Reply with quote
Crabtree1 wrote:
Not completely unrelated, but... in the UK (and some other countries I'd imagine) when a woman is talking about a guy and she has her pinky up it usually has the rather unromantic connotations of a guy having... a wee one...

I think I'd rather stick to Japan's version


Here in France, it is an old habit used by the nobility while drinking which is still considered as a good behavior, my grandmother was always telling us, my cousins, siblings and me to never touch the cup with the pinky, doing so was frowned upon.

However, depending of the region, having the pinky up when you aren't drinking has the same meaning that it has in Japan, it's usually considered as vulgar.
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
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Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:57 pm Reply with quote
I honestly never noticed the gesture! I've heard of the "Red String of Fate" before, but not the "Pinky Swear" connection. It's really cute.
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Shiflan



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
Posts: 403
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:18 pm Reply with quote
Agent355 wrote:
I honestly never noticed the gesture! I've heard of the "Red String of Fate" before, but not the "Pinky Swear" connection. It's really cute.


Same here! I knew about "pinky swearing", the red string of fate, and the little finger gesture being discussed here, but I had no idea that there was any relationship between any of them, nevermind the fact that they are all related.
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Kadmos1



Joined: 08 May 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:20 pm Reply with quote
So, when talking about the girl, the guy will be fingering her so to speak.
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harminia



Joined: 24 Aug 2015
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Location: australia
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:20 pm Reply with quote
Crabtree1 wrote:
Not completely unrelated, but... in the UK (and some other countries I'd imagine) when a woman is talking about a guy and she has her pinky up it usually has the rather unromantic connotations of a guy having... a wee one...

I think I'd rather stick to Japan's version


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqWO7fzwSLM Australia too
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:28 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
The Japanese word for "pinky-promise" (yubikiri/指切り) literally means "finger cut-off" -- the exact connection is a little unclear, but it's thought to originate from the idea of your pinky being your important connection to the most important people in your life.

I always assumed that had yakuza origins. You break faith with your gang and you have to cut off your pinky to atone. But maybe that goes back to the red sting too.

In the US, a raised pinky, especially if you waggle your hand a little, is a derogatory insinuation that someone is gay. I think that evolved from the pinky-out manners of British tea drinking, which, like having any manners at all, to some people is seen as effeminate. See Austin Powers' Dr. Evil.
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
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Location: Serra Gaucha/Minnesota
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:04 pm Reply with quote
Yune Amagiri wrote:
Here in France, it is an old habit used by the nobility while drinking which is still considered as a good behavior, my grandmother was always telling us, my cousins, siblings and me to never touch the cup with the pinky, doing so was frowned upon.

However, depending of the region, having the pinky up when you aren't drinking has the same meaning that it has in Japan, it's usually considered as vulgar.


In Brazil raising the pinky means while drinking is interpreted as proof of homosexuality. Laughing Its probably influence from European countries since Brazilians who have the means to go to these countries are cultured and hence "effeminate". We have a rather crude and homophobic culture indeed.
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JustStopPlz



Joined: 29 Aug 2018
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:46 pm Reply with quote
Reading all these thing that the pinky up gesture means really changes my perception of that one Spongebob episode.
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earthisthering



Joined: 30 Oct 2018
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:28 am Reply with quote
Huh. In my experience the pinky doesn't represent "love and sex in general" -- it refers exclusively to women, and the equivalent signal for "husband/boyfriend" is in fact the thumb.

According to most Japanese sources, the pinky came to represent a female lover due to the practitioners of literal yubikiri, i.e. Edo period prostitutes (which brings us right back to crass, I suppose). As you say, that in turn probably has its origins in the idea of the pinky as representing important connections. The thumb is a bit more opaque; it could be that the general "male head of household" connotations from 親指 eventually mutated into "important man in one's life", but that's a mere guess by a layperson.

Incidentally, in the modern day, the pinky and thumb are the respective words for "woman" and "man" in Japanese Sign Language. I thought that was kind of cool.
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gridsleep



Joined: 17 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:09 am Reply with quote
So, that's why Yakuza expect their made men to cut off their little finger as an initiation. It both symbolically and literally represents severing your ties to those dear to you and dedicating your life to the Yakuza clan.
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Shiflan



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
Posts: 403
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:17 am Reply with quote
gridsleep wrote:
So, that's why Yakuza expect their made men to cut off their little finger as an initiation. It both symbolically and literally represents severing your ties to those dear to you and dedicating your life to the Yakuza clan.


I'm quite sure the Yakuza finger cutting is a different thing entirely:

When you hold a sword in the Japanese martial arts, most of the grip is done with the smaller fingers (pinky and ring finger) while the index finger is held more loosely. Thus if you cut off part of your pinky or ring finger it becomes much more difficult to properly grasp a sword. That has the effect, both symbolic and practical, of making someone more dependent on their Yakuza clan for protection than they otherwise would with intact fingers.

Cutting off one's finger was not a method of being initiated into the Yakuza. Rather it was an atonement for screwing up in some way. Each time you screwed up you cut off another joint, thereby becoming more and more dependent on the clan for protection since you were less able to fight with a sword.
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Scalfin



Joined: 18 May 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:39 am Reply with quote
This particular conception of fate also explains why the idea Stand users are drawn to each other was treated as logical in JoJo's.
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