It is believed that the medieval practice of sticking one’s pinky finger out while drinking dates back to using it to dip into mustard or salt while eating. In this period, utensils weren’t used for eating. Instead, food was eaten with hands. The pinky fingers were extended to allow them to be dipped in spices and then placed on the tongue. Although utensils were commonplace by the 16th century tea was still served with the pinky fingers extended, especially while drinking tea.
More information about pinky fingers
Many etiquette experts don’t like the idea of extending your pinky finger while you drink and consider it to be a sign that you are pretentious.
A 2010 study found that removing the pinky finger from your grip reduces grip strength by 33%.
After the 16th century the act of using your pinky fingers to dip in spices and place them on the tongue was considered a form of sensuality. Many clergymen opposed it as a sign of gluttony or lust.
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