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It comes fromThere's a Japanese and Chinese tradition called "red thread". Wedded couples tie a red thread on their pinky finger, because they believe that it was destiny that connects them together. The red thread signifies eternal togetherness. You use your pinky finger as a promise that you are never supposed to break.

From that tradition a popular kid's rhyme:

指切りげんまん

うそ付いたら

針千本飲ます

指切った

Which means:

Cut your finger and swear

Should you lie

Swallow a thousand needles

Cut your finger

So we see there is long standing traditions that were used in Japan to denote a truly high promise to the pinky. The Then it became popular for the Japanese mafia used to cut off a finger if you did something they didn't like or lied them. Usually pinkies were the first to go. You can see this in some Japanese cartoons too.

This was brought to US from immigrants and movies. I am not sure where/when it became a "cute" thing to do. Because two people who did not know each other well would not pinky swear. Definitely alteration after acceptance.

It comes from Japan. The Japanese mafia used to cut off a finger if you did something they didn't like or lied them. Usually pinkies were the first to go. You can see this in some Japanese cartoons too.

There's a Japanese and Chinese tradition called "red thread". Wedded couples tie a red thread on their pinky finger, because they believe that it was destiny that connects them together. The red thread signifies eternal togetherness. You use your pinky finger as a promise that you are never supposed to break.

From that tradition a popular kid's rhyme:

指切りげんまん

うそ付いたら

針千本飲ます

指切った

Which means:

Cut your finger and swear

Should you lie

Swallow a thousand needles

Cut your finger

So we see there is long standing traditions that were used in Japan to denote a truly high promise to the pinky. Then it became popular for the Japanese mafia used to cut off a finger if you did something they didn't like or lied them. Usually pinkies were the first to go. You can see this in some Japanese cartoons too.

This was brought to US from immigrants and movies. I am not sure where/when it became a "cute" thing to do. Because two people who did not know each other well would not pinky swear. Definitely alteration after acceptance.

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It comes from Japan. The Japanese mafia used to cut off a finger if you did something they didn't like or lied them. Usually pinkies were the first to go. You can see this in some Japanese cartoons too.