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nocountry2's avatar

Why do some men have one really long fingernail?

Asked by nocountry2 (3670 points ) May 5th, 2008 from iPhone

Like my banker today – very clean-cut, professional, yet with an extraordinarily long fingernail on his pinky! This is very odd to me and I’ve never had the guts to ask one… Is it for grooming (picking nose/ ear), drugs, what??

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23 Answers

soundedfury's avatar

I know many guitarists who grow out a longer fingernail as an organic pick.

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jrpowell's avatar

I had a friend in high school that grew out the nail on his pinky. He also played the guitar. I never asked him why he did that and I guess I just found out why he did. I just thought he was weird.

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xyzzy's avatar

From Urban Dictionary :

“One fingernail, usually the pinky, allowed to grow long and used to snort cocaine out of.”

El_Cadejo's avatar

Long pinky nails are often associated with cocaine. I have also heard that chinese will often have a long fingernail to show as a sign of wealth. ie they dont have to do hard labor.

Breefield's avatar

Yeah, cocaine is what I know it to be for as well. I the book “Scar Tissue” Anthony Kiedis he describes his father is a cocaine dealer with a a finger for every activity. His pinky for cocaine lines, and his middle finger cut extra short for, well…the ladies.

ecogal's avatar

In college I knew a young guy who kept his pinkie finger nail long for use as a roach clip.

jcs007's avatar

I always thought men grew out one nail to pick their nose…

breanne's avatar

My grandfather keeps a long fingernail to use it as a tool. I’ve seen him screw things in with it. Kind of freaky and useful at the same time—but he is quite the renaissance man.

iwamoto's avatar

im a guitar player too, but an electric, i use both hands on the neck (tapping etc.) so i keep mine realy short, i wonder how a long pinky nail would help with fingerpicking

Alina1235's avatar

whoha! May be removed too, but me thinks the coke nail LOL

peedub's avatar

I thought it was for blow, as in to signify the status as drug dealer. I’ve also seen Asian gangsters sporting this look. What I am totally thrown off by is C. Everett Koop’s nails. This isn’t the best video but pay attention to his right thumbnail. The Ali G. episode, featuring this former surgeon general shows them up close. What is the meaning of this?

nocountry2's avatar

See I would think drugs too but this guy worked in a bank – surely that’s too obvious?

peedub's avatar

Maybe on his off time? Times are tough. People need two jobs to stay afloat.

I don’t think a single pinky is for Spanish guitar, but who knows.

Wine321's avatar

I highly doubt a long pinky nail is beneficial in guitar playing. From all that I’ve seen and read it’s a drug thing.

mandymcpaddles's avatar

i had a friend that had one long nail and he grew it to discretely pick his nose..

Dethmag's avatar

I have all of my nails long. Except at this point my right middle has broken and my left middle has chipped on both sides so it’s kinda freaky pointy lookin. I am not a drug user, I do not play guitar and no I’m not gay but I deffinitely don’t have a problem if people assume that I am W.E. I lean toward the wealth answer. However I am not wealthy, I do though have an office job that spares me from having to do manual labor. That doesn’t mean that I don’t do manual labor ever though, I find that my nails are amazingly resiliant. Nobody ever asks me about them. I think it’s kinda funny cuz I know everyone wonders but they just don’t know how/what to ask. I did have a female co-worker ask me once how I got them to grow so long. I think she was genuinely curious and really wanted to know. I think that that situation would have made a man who was less secure in his sexuality very uncomfortable but for me it was relieving to know that people did notice and just weren’t asking. My co-workers are 90— 95% female and I work at the office alone at night they all work during the day. I kinda hold down the fort so-to-say. So I know now that word has gotten around that I was confronted and the message was relayed that we are all comfortable with it. I mean why wouldn’t they be? They don’t even see me for more than a few miutes a day.

I think nobody outside the office (i.e. neighbors) asks just because it makes everyone uncomfortable which is fine by me. I wouldn’t consider myself anti-social, rather I’d say I’m more non-social . I drive a BMW and when I’m not in my office attire I prefer to wear my, “Dickies suit” (lol) so I also assume that they assume I’m a high level drug dealer. This is compounded by the fact that I am a Hispanic man that lives in an Eastern Washington (state) city that is 86.7% White and Hispanics of any race represent only 5% of the pop. I grew up here and thus have always been kind of an outsider. Which again is fine by me.

I have tried the, “One long fingernail” thing before and it just doesn’t suit me, it’s not my style. I’m more of a, “Well if you’re gonna do somthing, you may as well do it right” type of guy. I could though imagine that if I piss my boss off bad enough she just might tell me that, “One lone fingernail” is acceptable. Her justification being the sole fact that it is more common and thus somehow more acceptable.
And NO I’m not a cat! I registered specifically to answer this question so I will be fixing that photo shortly. after I get some work done

Dethmag's avatar

My therory on why it is more common for men to have only one long fingernail, as opposed to all of them is that….

It is much easier to have just one lone fingernail specifically the pinky. I find that when I do damage a nail it is usually either the index or middle finger or the thumb. So I could imagine someone damaging all 3 at one time and just deciding to clip the ring finger and go with just one, pinky fingernail long. The pinky finger is a lazy finger and rarely does any “real work” thus it is much less likely to ever be damaged. So now that I think of it, I think 2 (the ring and pinky) would look cool but is still too easy for me. AND Just one (pinky) is just plain DOUCHEY unless it has a real purpose (i.e. playing guitar).

Dethmag's avatar

Listen to me being all judgemental. One might think that’s more than just a bit hypocritical on my part. I don’t think so though. You see I don’t GaF what the rest of the world thinks of me so in turn, why should it give a single s**t what I think of it. So if you’re sitting out there reading this with your one purposeless pinky nail long I say, “Go on wit’cho bad self!” Don’t let what I think ruin your day. And deffinitely don’t go cutting it off because of what I said. Then you’d not only be a Douche you’d be a Puppet Douche.

DethmaG

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