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> take me some time to decode. To me, a "pointer" is a data type in a
computer 
> program, a variety of dog, a helpful tip, and several other things that 
> would have to occur to me before I thought of a finger.

Ditto. It's also true for me of "index" when stripped of "finger": a set of
pointers for in a program or a book, etc.  

> It is a shame the middle finger doesn't have a name all its own in
English; 
> it's only distinguished by being between its neighbours. I suppose we
could 
> call it the "giving-the-finger finger" (or "bird finger", to use another 
> colloquialism of dubious universality...).

In certain NeoPagan trads, each finger is assigned an element: e.g. thumb =
water, index = fire, middle = spirit, ring = earth, pinky = air.