Crooked

From the time that I was in kindergarten as a youngster, I discovered something unique about myself that other kids did not have. While most children I came in contact with had some soft of birthmark, I was one who had no such indication on the surface of my skin. What I was born with was much more noticeable in a sense, but a lot of kids never took notice initially. It was a trait that both my mom and her father (my grandfather) possessed. It was something that made tracing the outline of my hands a lot more exciting in the 1st grade. When the 25 students in class traced their hands and the teacher placed the pictures on the wall outside of the classroom, my hands stood out much more than the others. Wanna know why? Take a look at my hands.

Click the pic for a LARGER view of my hands

What is the one thing you see that stands out?

A) My pretty brown skin
B) My very short fingernails
C) The gold watch and other nice jewelry
D) A few bruises and scars on my hands
E) Crooked pinky fingers on each hand

Obviously, the correct answer is E. These crooked pinky fingers are a gentic trait that I share with my mom, my younger brother and one that my grandfather had as well. I’ve always been aware that my pinky fingers were crooked. I remember family members pointing out my fingers to my mom as they told her that she couldn’t deny me. Until a few weeks ago I never knew that there was a medical term that defined the condition of my fingers. While getting a routine check-up, my orthopedic doctor looked at my hands and said “Hey… you’ve got Clinodactyly”. I looked at him with my eyebrows raised and said “I’ve got Clinodacta whaaaat??” He then explained to me the genetic disorder that was prevalent in my family.

Definition of Clinodactyly – courtesy of MedicineNet.com

Clinodactyly: Curving of the fifth finger (the little finger) toward the fourth finger (the ring finger). Sometimes called “fifth finger clinodactyly” to distinguish it from similar curving of other finger or toes.

Clinodactyly is a minor congenital malformation (birth defect). The basis for the clinodactyly is that the middle bone in the fifth finger is underdeveloped and, instead of being rectangular, is wedge- shaped.

Clinodactyly may occur as an isolated finding in a person who is entirely normal or it may be found in association with other congenital malformations and, sometimes, mental retardation. It is a common component of Down (trisomy 21) syndrome and Klinefelter (XXY) syndrome. No treatment is required for clinodactyly.

“Clinodactyly” is derived from the Greek “klinein” (to bend, slope or incline) and “dactylos” (finger, toe). Other English words formed from “klinein” include “clinocephaly” (a condition that causes skull depression or flatness) and “clinophobia” (fear of going to bed–that is, to bend the head to a pillow.) Other English words formed from “dactylos” include “dactylogram” (fingerprint) and “dactylography” (the study of fingerprints).

I never knew that name of it, I just knew that I had crooked pinky fingers. I was accustomed to people making jokes and laughing at them. I could never make a bet with someone and join pinky fingers with them to seal the deal with a chuckle or a strange look from them. In 1990 when I was being fingerprinted prior to going to the Navy, the technician bust out laughing when trying to get an imprint of my fingers. For every other finger the pressed into the ink and rolled onto the sheet. However with my pinky fingers, all they had to do was press and stamp flat. I swear that over the past 20 years I’ve answered the question “Hey, did you break your finger” over and over and over again. Each time the question has been asked I hold up both hands together and sarcastically say “Yeah, I broke both of em at the same time”. The response generates laughs and I then explain the genetics as best as I can.

I think it’s kinda cool to have em. It’s something that sets me apart from everybody else, yet it reflects a connection to my family.

20 thoughts on “Crooked”

  1. That is real cute that you talk about yourself in this matter. Your fingers were not your handicap. Everyone has some kind of mishaps with their body. Mine is having big boobs. You do remember them don’t you

  2. hehe, I was bored and searched for crooked pinky on google.. I seem to have the same exact thing as you.. my mother and grandmother have it as well.. heh and I too have suffered from the countless “oh, did you break your finger?” questions.. my pinky has never really bothered me much as well. And as of the time being ive been playing guitar for about 2 years, it only took a while to get used to using my pinky before I could play just like everyone else with their regular pinky’s hehe..

    p.s. hehe my mom was told the same thing (erhm about the whole you can’t deny its your son)

  3. Wow i was bored and decided to google about my pinky as well. It’s much more noticeable in my left hand than right, and my sister has it too (no one else does, as far as I know). Once I played a mean trick and while goofing around with some friends I accused one of them of “breaking my finger!”

  4. I’m glad to hear of ways that you dealt with teasing in childhood, and that you took pride in always recognizing your hand-tracings among your classmates. My son was born with clinodactyly, which he must have inherited from my genes, as I had syndactyly, which is when two fingers are joined at birth (they were surgically separated when I was 4 years old, and are pretty normal looking, although a bit crooked, and I can’t go bowling b/c my finger joints in the affected fingers aren’t strong enough). I’ll bet that there are people you have known your whole life who have never noticed… that’s true for me.

    I remember that after my son was born we noticed his pinkies, but thought nothing of it. I was glad he would never have to endure surgery for it, and that his pinkies would guarantee that I would not take the wrong baby home from the hospital! LOL! Thanks for posting this blog.

    P.S. Even though my son’s pinkies are similar to yours, I noticed your rings first.

  5. heh. i think this is kinda cool. i also have the crooked pinkies, and never knew that it had a name for it. nor did i know that it was genetic. which is nice for me to know because it might actually help me find out who my biological father is. i’ve grown up my whole life not knowing who my actual dad is. i’ve never seen him, heard his voice, or even had a long enough conversation with my mom to really learn much about him. all i know is that he worked with my mom at an airport in minneapolis MN. and that his first name is John. lol. that’s all i had to go off of, until now. if i’m lucky, i might actually have a standing chance at finding the guy. thanks for the info on the crooked pinkies. i wonder how many people in the world have what we do.

  6. Hi, my granddaughter was also born with crooked pinkys we noticed them right away and I think they are cute just like her. To our knowledge no one else in our family has ever had these same with her father’s famil. However, her Mother and Brother were born with club feet, could these be related?

  7. Hah! I knew there must be a name for this! I always wondered, if I shared my oddity with anyone else. I haven’t had comments about broken fingers recently, but I remember them when I was growing up. I was also born with crooked toes, my left foot has two toes that are permanently crossed for luck. Neither “oddity” has bothered me physically, but it really did mentally as a teenager. I would always have my hands curled up to a point that no one would notice my fingers, and I would NEVER be caught with sandles in public. I even went so far as to bandage my crooked toes and fingers to other toes and fingers as to try to self straighten them, which of course never worked. Now that I’m older and a bit wiser, I don’t really care, and as long as the temp’s above 60 I hardly go without my sandles, and hey, the curved pinkies give me a bit more room for my rings. 🙂

  8. Interesting… After a while, I got tired of the “did you break your fingers” questions as well, so I just said yes to move things along. The first thing that came to mind when seeing the pic was that it looked very familiar 🙂 Haven’t seen anyone else with this until today. There was a time in the 3rd grade when I read an illustrated palm reading book that warned readers about dealing with people who have “crooked mercurys” (supposedly the mercury was the fifth finger). Gee thanks, palm reading author guy. Anyway, fast forwarding to present day, googling this yields some rehashes of that (prevaricators) so I sure appreciate your posting and for revealing the actual clinical name.

  9. I work at a restaurant and have for a few years, while waiting for my bartendar to make me a drink he looks at me and says, “what’s wrong with your pinkies- they’re bent!?!” So a few days later the same guy stops me again and said that he read in a palm reading book that our pinkies have some secret meaning, which led me to do my search online therefor finding everyone else who has my same bent pinkies… very interesting to read thank you for all the information 🙂

  10. I am a healer. I have crooked pinky fingers. Recently I have been attracting alot of clients with pinky fingers like mine. No one knew it was a birth defect. What I did notice about each of us, is a capacity for healing work. The pinky finger houses the heart meridian, a channel of energy linked to the heart. I was told by a fortune teller when I was very young that I would love deeply and also tell white lies.
    No one has ever asked if I broke my fingers.
    Nice to meet you all.

  11. Just as everyone else has posted, I have the crooked pinkies also. My grandmother, father, and all of my kids have them also. I was reading a superstitions book, and it stated that people with crooked pinkies die wealthy. I don’t want to die wealth, lol, I would rather enjoy the wealth. 🙂

  12. I’m so glad to read these stories. The curvature of my right-hand pinkie is more pronounced than my left. When I was a kid, about 10 or so, a friend wanted to take a closer look at my hand. He then, with the deepest sincerity, offered to break it for me so I could get it fixed. Seriously.

    I’m 24 now and I’ve never let anyone touch my pinkies since.

  13. My grandfather, my mother and all three of my children along with myself share this unique quality you mentioned! 🙂 It is something that always generates a conversation and I too am grateful for the uniqueness it brings to myself!Keep enjoying, isn’t that what life is all about! 🙂

  14. So weird. I searched up crooked pinky on google and glad I came across this article. I have been searching for the medical term for a while. Its funny because I had the same experience when I was in elementary school tracing my hands. I dont care to much about it these days, but they do get annoying when I play instruments like the guitar and especially the piano. Its funny because my hands look a lot like yours, fingernails and all :D.

  15. wow. same here. i was searching and came across this page. had the same experience with tracing my hands too. i share this trait with a grandfather that i never met, but my pinkies are both curved inwards, including the finger nail. it is contoured so to speak. i am a musician and play the piano (funny considering my weird fingers!).

    glad to find answers here. take care!

  16. My husband happened upon your blog while doing a search for “crooked pinkies.” He has hands just like you. So does his father and so do all three of our children. He’s very proud of his dominant pinky gene. Anyway – this is the first time that he had ever seen the clinical term. That’s what he was looking for and he found it on your site.

    Anyway – I just thought I’d let you know that you were the #1 site listed on Google for “crooked pinkies.”

    Also – Chris (my husband) was wondering if you find that your pinkies break easily. He has naturally crooked pinkies – but has broken both of them over the years – but none of his other fingers. You can e-mail him at hoody7@yahoo.com.

  17. Hello fellow funny finger friends! How exciting to be in your gang and I thought I was all alone in the world with my wonky digits! I tell people that it means I’m a witch. Silly really but I find it amusing. Thanks for sharing all your stories, lovely! Jojo Cosmic

  18. My daughter was born with the top of her left little finger bent. The nail is also deformed. It’s really small an it looks more like a little spike and it grows backwards. It never grows very long before it snaps off at the base.

    Does anyone else have something similar?

    Joanne

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