Minwe

little girl raising her hands to her face with the 'peace' sign.
Naming your fingers in Shona

Names of Each Finger

The generic name for ‘finger’ is munwe / mumwe/ chigun’we/ chigumwe/ chigunwe.

Do you know the names of each finger?

  1. Thumb: Chara. Gamburadovi.
  2. It seems chara is also taken to mean finger in general. The tsumo, ‘Chara chimwe hachitswanyi inda,’ can be translated to mean, ‘You cannot crush a louse with one finger.’ (You would need to hold it between two fingers).

  3. Index Finger: Munongedzo. Mutendeka.
  4. We usually use this finger to point at something. The words nongedza and tendeka mean ‘point at’ or ‘aim at.’

  5. Middle Finger: Mudapakati
  6. This is the finger in the middle of all fingers. Pakati is the Shona word for middle.

  7. Ring Finger: Mukomawatiki. Nhembayemwana.
  8. Mukoma in family relationships means ‘one that is older than.’ In this context, it can be taken to mean ‘bigger than.’ It is the bigger finger immediately after the tiki.

  9. Little Finger: Kasiyanwa. Chimwahumwani. Tiki.
  10. Tiki is a form of the word diki (small), meaning ‘tiny.’