dactylonomy


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dactylonomy

Rare. the practice of counting on the fingers.
See also: Fingers and Toes
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The poet] speaks euphemistically of his [Yusuf's] having been in the tightness of ninety in dactylonomy and becoming thirty in dactylonomy (fi diqi 'aqdi tis'ina fa-sara fi sa'ati 'aqdi thalathin).
Dactylonomy (hisab al-'aqd) is finger-counting, or more precisely, "the art of expressing numbers by the position of the fingers.
A description and illuminating illustrations of numbers in dactylonomy, in addition to a short history of this art in East and West, are to be found in Georges Ifrah, The Universal History of Numbers from Prehistory to the Invention of the Computer, tr.