Careful Words

finger (n.)

finger (v.)

Fresh as a bridegroom; and his chin new reap'd

Showed like a stubble-land at harvest-home;

He was perfumed like a milliner,

And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held

A pouncet-box, which ever and anon

He gave his nose and took 't away again.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): King Henry IV. Part I. Act i. Sc. 3.

No man's pie is freed

From his ambitious finger.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): King Henry VIII. Act i. Sc. 1.

  He has an oar in every man's boat, and a finger in every pie.

Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616): Don Quixote. Part ii. Chap. xxii.

  She has more goodness in her little finger than he has in his whole body.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745): Polite Conversation. Dialogue ii.

While fancy, like the finger of a clock,

Runs the great circuit, and is still at home.

William Cowper (1731-1800): The Task. Book iv. The Winter Evening. Line 118.

They are not a pipe for fortune's finger

To sound what stop she please. Give me that man

That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him

In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart,

As I do thee.—Something too much of this.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Hamlet. Act iii. Sc. 2.

Spires whose "silent finger points to heaven."

William Wordsworth (1770-1850): The Excursion. Book vi.

  An instinctive taste teaches men to build their churches in flat countries, with spire steeples, which, as they cannot be referred to any other object, point as with silent finger to the sky and star.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834): Ibid., No. 14.

But, alas, to make me

A fixed figure for the time of scorn

To point his slow unmoving finger at!

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): Othello. Act iv. Sc. 2.

The Moving Finger writes; and having writ,

Moves on; nor all your Piety nor Wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,

Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.

Omar Khayyam (1048-1131): Rubáiyát. Stanza lxxi.