long pinky fingernails on men

I had a boss years ago who did this.

My young coworker and I speculated it might be for snorting coke, but the boss didn’t seem the type (plus we were drug tested, because our jobs were FAA-related.)

One day, the coworker finally got the nerve to ask him, and the boss immediately reached into his ears with the long pinky nails and retrieved some ear wax. F’ing yuck.

The only people I knew who left one fingernail longer than the others used it to snort coke. I only know because I asked them. "Yo, dude. What’s with the long pinkie? Coke spoon. You interested? No. I stick with whiskey. Whatever."

Back in the Victorian era there were criminals that specialized in making wax impressions of keys that allowed copies to be made, almost always for nefarious purposes. I understand that a sign of this type of career was a long pinky fingernail - so that the key could be extracted quickly from the wax mold after the impression had been made.

Cite: Michael Crichton’s book “The Great Train Robbery”. This is a novel, but contains a lot of stuff about the gritty details of Victorian crime.

That’s China, where it is still a thing with some of the engineers we work with: it shows they have desk jobs. Only one, perhaps a full set would be too inconvenient or too ostentatious.

You may remember that “The Claw” the steriotypical chinese villain from “Get Smart”, had a complete set of long fingernails.

In China, it’s done for two reason:

  1. To show that they are white-collar. Their nails do not get broken at work.

  2. Boogers and ear-wax removal.