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SatFeb 18

Thumb Appreciation Day – February 18, 2023

Thumb Appreciation Day is celebrated on February 18! The holiday occurs annually on February 18 to celebrate a part of our body we oftentimes don’t think much about and even take for granted — our thumb. It is meant to be the day we show a little appreciation for it considering the thumb is known to be one of the most important digits. Without our thumb, many things that are required for our daily survival like zipping the cloth that protects us from gusts and snows would be nearly impossible to do.

History of Thumb Appreciation Day

Thumb Appreciation Day is observed annually on February 18 to appreciate the worth of our thumb. A body part so useful that it would have been near impossible to grasp things more easily, pick small objects up, eat with one hand, and do so many other things without it.

The holiday is meant to be the day to notice our thumb and give it the love and attention it deserves for being so vital to the functioning of our hands and life. It is meant to encourage everyone to spread love and show appreciation for their thumbs that medical professionals agree is one of the parts of our body that distinguishes us from other animals.

Our thumbs are the reason we can operate heavy tools that help us exploit the resources on earth. In further affirmation of how important the thumb is, medical professionals all agree that if we were to lose one of all our fingers, the index finger is the best one we lose.

Made up of two bones, human thumbs are often called ‘opposable thumbs’ because they can be stretched opposite other fingers in order to help grip things easily. And, they are known to have a coordinated set of motions like translating, rotating, and flexing that all help in everyday needs like penning an essay, turning a nut, picking up a coin, or buttoning a shirt.

Thumb Appreciation Day timeline

1900s
The Earliest Known Use Of ‘Thumbs-Up’

According to records, the earliest written instance of a ‘thumbs-up’ is from the 1917 book “Over the Top,” by Arthur Guy Empey.

1917
The Birth Of John Russell Napier

John Russell Napier, one of the world’s most prominent primatologists and hand research pioneers notable for his research on human and primate hands/feet, is born.

1927
‘Thumbs Up’ Means Something Positive

The use of ‘thumbs up’ to mean something positive in the modern era is in a 19-minute British-made silent movie.

1979
“Gestures: Their Origins And Distribution” Gets Released

Desmond Morris releases his book, titled “Gestures: Their Origins and Distribution,” to provide insight into human’s use of the thumb.

Thumb Appreciation Day FAQs

Is the thumb a finger?

Although the thumb works together with other fingers to complete tasks, it is not considered a finger but a digit.

Why is the thumb so important?

Our thumbs are extremely useful in helping us get things done. Whether we need to eat, pick up small objects, or even brush our teeth, the thumb makes these tasks easier for us to handle.

What makes the human thumb unique?

The opposable thumb that humans have are longer than the other fingers and primate thumbs. Due to its length, humans are able to touch their other fingers and hold onto objects; unlike other species.

Thumb Appreciation Day Activities

  1. Play thumb wrestling with friends

    Celebrate Thumb Appreciation Day by having a thumb wrestling tournament with friends. Study the strength and the sturdiness of the thumb during the match to develop a deep appreciation for your thumb!

  2. Create thumbprint art

    One of the most popular ways to celebrate Thumb Appreciation Day is to get creative with them and produce beautiful pieces of art using your thumbprint as your brush! To go further, you might even set these paintings up as digital assets that could be sold as non-fungible tokens online.

  3. Share thoughts on social media

    Another interesting way to celebrate Thumb Appreciation Day is to share your thoughts on various social media platforms: Reddit, Facebook, or Twitter, using the hashtag #ThumbAppreciationDay. That way, you can track posts and see images from people who have painted iconic images as a way to appreciate their thumb.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About The Thumb

  1. The pollex

    The Medical Latin English word for thumb is ‘pollex.’

  2. The swollen one

    The word ‘thumb’ is believed to have come from the Proto-Indo-European term ‘tum’, meaning ‘to swell,’ which makes the thumb ‘the swollen one.’

  3. Thumbs have their own pulse

    According to medical practitioners, the reason they take a pulse with the middle and index finger is that there's a big artery in the thumb, which makes it difficult to feel a pulse in the neck with a thumb.

  4. Toes can become thumbs

    According to medical practitioners, thumbs can be rebuilt from any of the patient’s big toes.

  5. Thumb and impairment

    According to the American Medical Association, thumbs are so important that a complete amputation will result in a 40% impairment to the whole hand.

Why We Love Thumb Appreciation Day

  1. It helps us recognize its importance

    Thumbs are a super useful part of our body! They help in grasping things more easily, picking small objects up, eating with one hand, and so much more. Our thumbs are the reason we can operate heavy tools that help us make use of the resources on earth. Thumb Appreciation Day serves as a recognition of these facts.

  2. It reminds us of our thumb’s evolution

    The human thumb has evolved over a long period of time in history and Thumb Appreciation Day serves as a reminder of that. As primates, we are the only one with what scientists call ‘opposable thumbs’ that help to do all the things that the thumb are meant to do. Like zipping pants and partnering with the index finger to clench on to something.

  3. It encourages getting creative with our thumb

    Thumb Appreciation Day reminds us to use our thumbs in many creative ways too! For instance, in Thumbprint art and thumb-wrestling tournaments. The day serves as one to help us explore various utility uses of the thumb.

Thumb Appreciation Day dates

YearDateDay
2022February 18Friday
2023February 18Saturday
2024February 18Sunday
2025February 18Tuesday
2026February 18Wednesday

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