亲爱的小文:
  你说姥姥手指肿了,要不要紧?肿的是哪一只?
  手指是finger,指头尖是fingertip,She was a lady to her fingertips.是“她浑身都是淑女”,连指头尖(里)都是。指甲是nail,钉子也是,也叫fingernail He is witty to the fingernails.是说浑身都是机智,机智都跑到指甲里头去了,连指甲里都有机智。
  My fingers itch to box his ears. 是手痒得想打他一个耳光,My fingers are itching to do it.是“跃跃欲试”,但是中文中“食指大动”“技痒”一类的意思。have a finger in the pie是“染指”、“参与”,look through one's fingers at是假装看不见(从指头缝中偷看),finger alphabet是“手势字母”,是聋子哑巴用的。
  大拇指是thumb,童话里有一个Tom Thumb,任何小东西矮东西也叫Tom Thumb,喜欢吮大拇指叫thumb-sucker。thumb one's nose是一种做鬼脸。你在路上,若看到有人伸大拇指拦车,这种动作就叫thumb(也叫hitch-hike),这种人就叫thumb-pusher(也叫hitch-hiker),thumber就是揩油搭便车的。说这个人笨手笨脚的,常用His fingers are all thumbs. 十个指头全跟大拇指一样,不是完蛋了吗?
  食指是index finger,index,forefinger,书的“索引”也叫index。
  中指是middle finger,middle是“中间”的意思。
  无名指是ring finger,尤其是指左手的,ring是戒指,key ring是钥匙环。
  小指是little finger,说“玩弄别人于股(大腿)掌(手心)之上”,英文则是He has a remarkable talent for twisting people around his little finger.这 turn (twist) around one's little finger是成语,要记住。
  中文里的“屈指可数”翻成英文是can count on the fingers (of a hand),“指不胜屈”是too many to count (on the fingers),打棒球时,若老是接不住球,这种人叫“奶油指头”(butterfingers),奶油指头跟十个指头都是大拇指比起来,正好是“半斤八两”(Tweedledum and Tweedledee)!

爸 爸 一九七三年十月二十八日夜