The thumb is in itself more expressive of character than any other member of the hand. It was D'Arpentigny who wrote "the thumb individualises the man."
Medical science has proved that there is such a thing as a "thumb centre" in the brain and any pressure or disease in that part of the brain shows its effect in the thumb.
A Large Well Made Thumb
A large well-made thumb is the outward and visible sign of a strong-willed, determined person, be he man or woman.
Length of the Thumb
The longer the thumb, the more the power of will rules the actions; the shorter the thumb, the more brute force and obstinacy sways the nature.
The shorter and more thick-set the nail phalange is, giving the appearance of a club, the more ungovernable is the person in his or her temper. Such people have no control over themselves and under the least opposition will fly into a blind rage of fury. This curious formation has been called the "Murderer's Thumb" because so many who have committed murder in a mad fit of passion have been found with this curious formation.
An employee with this class of thumb should never be given any position of authority over others, for he could not curb his ungovernable temper. He would also be absolutely unbalanced in his jealousy, and no woman who has the ambition to live to the usual "threescore-years-and-ten" should risk marriage to a man with one of these thumbs. But as "love is blind" it is useless, I know, to give advice in such a case.
The First Joint of the Thumb
The first joint or nail phalange of the thumb, when long and thin, denotes the opposite of the above characteristics. In such cases the person has the most absolute control over his temper, his will power is also strong but quick and unobtrusive, and in a firm, determined way people with such a thumb manage others and bend those around them to their purpose.
The Second Joint of the Thumb
The second joint, if delicately shaped, almost "waist like," indicates tact, diplomacy, and gentleness, also subtlety in argument; but if this part of the thumb be full looking or equal in size to that of the nail phalange, it denotes the person who cares nothing for tact but who, on all occasions, will speak his mind plainly, and with brutal frankness.
When the Thumb is Close to the Hand
When the thumb looks as if it were "tied in" close to the hand, the person is timid, easily frightened by both people and circumstances, narrow-minded in his views, and miserly in his habits. It is a well-established fact that the thumbs of all misers are "tied in" and cramped-looking. It is perhaps this very fear of things and people that in the end makes them misers with their gold.
One need never waste one's time asking a person with one of these cramped-looking thumbs to do a favour, and may God help the business man or woman who ever gets into such a person's clutches!
A Thumb with Supple Nail Joints
A thumb with the nail joint supple (bending backwards or as it is also called "double jointed") indicates a character the exact opposite of that associated with the "tied in" thumb. Possessors of such a thumb are generous, adaptable to others, extravagant, and impetuous in their actions and decisions. They promise things quickly and are more often heard to say "Yes" than "No"; but if they have time for reflection, they very often go back on their promises.
A Stiff Jointed Thumb
Individuals having a "stiff-jointed" thumb, on the contrary, cannot easily adapt themselves to others. They are distant and more reserved with strangers. When asked to do a thing, they generally first say "No," but on reflection or when reasoned with, they often give in to the other and generally regret having done so. It is useless to oppose such people--if one cannot lead them, it is no use attempting to force them against their will.
This type has more self-control than the type of people with the "supple jointed" formation, and is not so generous or extravagant. Individuals of this group, however, make more reliable friends, so their friendship, though difficult to obtain, is generally worth having.
A Thumb Very Far Out from the Hand
A thumb standing very far out from the hand (almost at right angles to the palm) is not a good sign for ordinary success. Such people go to extremes in everything they do and are generally fanatics in religion, social reform, or whatever line of though occupies their attention.