First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Thumb mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Thumb

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Thumb
The short, thick first digit of the human hand, differing from the other fingers in having but two phalanges; the pollex. See Pollex.

Etymology: OE. thombe thoumbe þume, AS. þūma; akin to OFries. thūma, D. duim, G. daumen, OHG. dūmo, Icel. þumall, Dan. tommelfinger, Sw. tumme, and perhaps to L. tumere to swell. √56. Cf. Thimble Tumid

verb Thumb
  1. To handle awkwardly.
  2. To play with the thumbs, or with the thumbs and fingers; as, to thumb over a tune.
  3. To soil or wear with the thumb or the fingers; to soil, or wear out, by frequent handling; also, to cover with the thumb; as, to thumb the touch-hole of a cannon."He gravely informed the enemy that all his cards had been thumbed to pieces, and begged them to let him have a few more packs." [Macaulay.]
verb Thumb
To play with the thumb or thumbs; to play clumsily; to thrum.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A convex molding having a cross section in the form of a quarter of a circle or of an ellipse
  2. The part of a glove that provides a covering for the thumb
  3. The thick short innermost digit of the forelimb
  4. Feel or handle with the fingers
  5. Travel by getting free rides from motorists
  6. Look through a book or other written material ("He thumbed through the report")

From Middle English thoume, thoumbe, from Old English þūma, from Proto-Germanic *þūmô (compare West Frisian tomme, Dutch duim, Low German Dumen, German Daumen, Danish tomme, Swedish tumme), from Proto-Indo-European *tūm- (“to grow”) (compare Welsh tyfu (“to grow”), Latin tumēre (“to swell”), Lithuanian tumėti (“to thicken, clot”), Ancient Greek τύμβος (túmbos, “burial mound”), Avestan 𐬀𐬨𐬏𐬙‏ (tūma, “strong”), Sanskrit तुम्र (túmra, “strong, thick”)). The parasitic ‐b has existed since the late 13th century.

  1. The short thick digit of the hand that for humans has the most mobility and can be made to oppose (moved to touch) all of the other fingers.
  2. (computing) The part of a slider that may be moved linearly along the slider.
  3. (colloquial, Internet) A thumbnail picture.

thumb was also found in the following language(s): Albanian

Notable Persons With the Last Name Thumb

General was given the name Charles Sherwood Stratton on January 4th, 1838 in United States. He breathed his last breath on July 15th, 1883.


Peter was born in 1681. He passed away in 1767.


Where is the name Thumb popular?

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Popularity of Thumb as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Thumb as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in Indiana, New York, or California.

Fun Facts about the name Thumb

  • How unique is the name Thumb? Out of 5,933,561 records in the U.S. Social Security Administration public data, the first name Thumb was not present. It is possible the name you are searching has less than five occurrences per year.
  • Weird things about the name Thumb: Your name in reverse order is Bmuht. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Uhmbt. How do you pronounce that?

What Thumbs Have Visited This Page?

Past life for Thumb born Aug 28, 1988

I do not know how you feel about it, but you were a female in your last earthly incarnation. You were born somewhere around the territory of Western Russia approximately on 1425. Your profession was farmer, weaver, and tailor.

You were a seeker of truth and wisdom. You could have seen your future lives. Others perceived you as an idealist illuminating path to the future. You fulfill your lesson by helping old folks and children. You came to that life to learn to care about weak and helpless.

Name poster for Thumb

Name poster for Thumb(click to save the high quality version)

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.