From very convincing to unhygienic and disturbing reasons, men seem to have tons of excuses to ditch the nail clipper and grow their pinkie nails noticeably long!
Growing out nails has been always exclusive to women, which is why people often cringe when they see a grown-up man with an extra-long fingernail, usually the pinkie nail. This behavior is, for some reason, more common in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and India. However, it's also present in America.
But those men don’t just wake up and decide to grow their pinky nails super-long while keeping others shorter — there are many different reasons that could drive men to do this, many of which are surprisingly legit, while others are just habit-driven.
Related: Why Do Guys Paint Their Nails Black
So, what’s the deal with men growing their pinkie fingernails long? Read on to figure out the 11 true meanings behind men growing their pinky nails long, and make sure to read until the end because the 10th reason will absolutely blow your mind!
1. To Indicate Wealth and Elegance
You’d probably think how a disturbingly long pinky nail could be a sign of wealth and upper class. Back in the ancient dynasties, men and even women had long, clean, and unchipped fingernails to identify themselves as not of the labor class but of the upper class and a well-to-do family.
This makes a lot of sense because someone who has a long pinky nail can’t really do any labor work, which was associated with only the lower class in society.
One long fingernail— Abhishek Avtans अभिषेक अवतंस 🌐 (@avtansa) July 10, 2020
There's an interesting practice among skilled male workers (in clothing industry) in India of growing longer nails of the little finger (5th digit). The nail of this digit is kept longer than the rest and is usually nail painted. The prime reason for this... pic.twitter.com/m0dDUEslU2
Wealthy people back then were even decorating their long nails with gold and silver to make it clear to everyone that they don’t have to do any manual work in the fields for a living!
2. To Attract Good Luck
A long pinky fingernail is a great way to bring more luck into your life, or at least this is what some people believe. This is connected to the previous point that relates wealth to longer fingernails.
According to palmistry, you’re considered a lucky and wealthy individual if your pinky nail is longer than the distal knuckle on your ring finger, which leads many palm-reading believers to choose to grow their pinky nails in the hope of attracting positive energy and good luck in their life!
Related: How To Attract and Manifest Money
3. To Feel Fancy
Having long, neatly-shaped nails definitely feels like a million bucks, but not everyone has the luxury of growing out five fingernails at the same time.
Some people use their fingers in daily activities that can easily break the nails they worked hard to grow. So they opt to grow out their least used fingernail: the pinkie nail!
4. To Dig Hard and Reach Boogies
Another interesting reason men grow their pinky fingernails long is to save money on tissues and use what nature gave them instead.
But who could blame those men anyway? When you think about it from a logical perspective — nails are much thicker and more effective in scooping boogers when compared to thin tissue. You also get to control the path of your pinky nail inside your nose and reach every piece of dried nasal mucus (aka booger!).
But seriously, what if the extra-long pinky nail breaks inside? And what if their nose starts bleeding because the pinky nail is too sharp? And what do those men do after they picked it? Do they simply flick it? And most importantly, how do they disinfect that pinky nail after this?
So many questions with few answers, but the undeniable fact is that those grown-ups know they shouldn’t pick their noses, but they still do it anyway — the world would be a whole lot better if everyone just listens to their mom!
5. Clean Out Ear Wax
A long pinky fingernail is obviously a 1-in-2 personal ‘hygiene’ tool — you can use it to pick your nose (and sneakily eat it) and pick your ears as well. Like, what else could you use to clean your ears, a q-tip?
Just so you know, eardrums are super fragile, and your sharp fingernail can easily cause ruptured eardrums. Let alone the fact that your super-long nail will be packed with ooey-gooey earwax after this cleaning session.
So if you have a long pinkie nail and are not willing to give up the ear-picking habit anytime soon, the nicest thing you could do for humanity is to avoid handshaking!
6. To Scratch the Bum
Let’s be honest, humans have been scratching their bums to relieve itchy butt since the dawn of civilization, and there’s nothing wrong with it as long as you do it politely and behind closed doors.
And while men don’t grow their pinky nails long only to use it as a butt scratcher, it’s definitely a handy tool when butt itchiness hits!
See Also: Why Are My Nails Soft and Bendy?
7. To Pick Food From Your Teeth
Have you ever got food stuck in your teeth and can’t find a toothpick for whatever reason? Well, men with long pinky nails never get stuck in such a situation because they always have a thin, sharp tool on hand (literally) to get food unstuck from their teeth!
8. To Use It as a Screwdriver
While the thought of using your not-so-strong pinkie nail to tighten a screw might seem terrible and painful, there are many people who grow their pinky nails just to use it in place of a screwdriver.
This is more common among machinists who often need to temporarily tighten a screw or even open a tight object.
Also read: Why Do Guys Like Sundresses So Much
9. A Tool for Musicians
From pianists to bassists and guitarists, all musicians need strong yet nimble fingers to play their instruments, which is why many popular musicians take very good care of their hands, including the length of their fingernails.
The length of their nails mainly depends on the instrument they play. For example, a guitarist may grow their pinky nail long to pluck the strings while playing, which produces a clear, smooth, loud sound that’s harder to produce with a guitar pick. As for the other fingers, they often maintain a nail length of two-three millimeters on their middle finger, ring, and index finger. And grow their thumbnail to a length of five millimeters.
On the other hand, a pianist is better off with shorter nails that won’t touch the piano, which also helps them maintain a curved hand position.
10. To Snort Coke (Yikes!)
Having one single long fingernail has been historically associated with doing drugs. This unusually long nail was often called a ‘coke nail’ back in the 1980s.
A coke nail is when someone has a substantially longer nail (usually the pinky nail) to scoop up coke and snort it, this whole process is known as doing a bump.
This longer fingernail serves as the vessel instead of using an object to snort a line of powder coke through, like a rolled-up dollar bill or a straw. So now you know!
11. A Tool for Painters
Not everyone with a long pinky nail is necessarily a coke addict — they may just need this long nail to scrape off the extra paint from their paintings, just like the famous American painter Bob Ross used to do, who was falsely accused of having a coke nail.
Artists may also need a long pinkie nail to use as an alternative to a Mahl stick, which helps prevent the hands from touching the wet canvas while applying the paint.
There you have it, those were the top reasons some men choose to let pinkie nails grow extremely long! The moral of the long pinkie nail story is that you shouldn’t be too quick to judge when you see a man with a noticeably longer pinky nail — they’re not necessarily uncivilized or lazy, they may be just a passionate painter, talented musician, or hard-working machinist.
Or, they may be showing off their wealth, trying to get exposed to the charm of long nails, or simply wanting to manifest good luck. Whatever their intentions behind growing out their pinkie nail are, make sure they don’t use this multi-tasking nail to snort coke, scratch their butt, or pick their nose and ears before giving them a handshake.
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Nicole Graham is a relationship expert at Womenio.com. She is helping women grow into their best selves so they can be confident and bring more love, passion, and purpose to their lives. Nicole enjoys studying the psychology of love and is passionate about writing on them. She offers helpful tips and advice to help overcome any relationship issue, whether you’re single or already in a relationship.