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digitus

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Latin

digitus manūs (digit of the hand)

Etymology

From Proto-Indo-European *diǵ-, zero-grade of *deyǵ- (to show, point out, pronounce solemnly), variants of roots *diḱ-, *deyḱ- that also gave Latin dīcō (I say, speak talk). Fingers where thus "pointers, indicators". Digit sense comes from the fact that they were used for counting up to ten.

Indo-European cognates include Sanskrit दिशति (diśáti), to show, point out), Ancient Greek δείκνυμι (deiknumi), to show), δίκη (dikē), manner, custom), Old English tǣċan (to show, point out) (English teach) and tācen (English token).

Compare similar semantic shift in English in the cognate word teacher (forefinger, index finger).

Pronunciation

Noun

digitus (genitive digitī); m, second declension

  1. a finger, toe, digit
  2. a twig

Inflection

Second declension (2).

Number Singular Plural
nominative digitus digitī
genitive digitī digitōrum
dative digitō digitīs
accusative digitum digitōs
ablative digitō digitīs
vocative digite digitī

Derived terms

Descendants

Elsewhere on the web

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