In a document I am using a phrase for lecturing people, but I am not sure if this expression is actually correct English, or just used in Dutch and I am literally translating it and in English it's hardly used.

I am saying: 'I have had it with the lifted index finger'.

As an expression for 'I have had it with the lecturing'.

Is that correct English?

Searching I cannot directly find many hits on it, it might be 'wagging finger', 'fingering' in English for what I have found so far. Could a native speaker help me on this? I am eventually looking for some alternative for 'I do not like being lectured', since I already used that word.

  • I am saying: 'I have had it with the lifted index finger'. This is not idiomatic.
    – Greybeard
    Jul 5 '20 at 11:45
  • @Greybeard I could see someone saying it in an argument with someone who habitually lifts their fingers when they're talking down to them.
    – nick012000
    Jul 6 '20 at 6:03

I have had it with the finger wagging.

I have had enough of your finger wagging.

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Click on this link to see the moving image. https://media.tenor.com/images/2ce44aa0928dd53c779921ed5dac9a16/tenor.gif


Be very careful how you use "fingering" it has sexual connotations if used in connection with a person.

It is okay with most inanimate objects, e.g. What fingering do you use when you play that piano piece?

However if you say to someone "Stop fingering me" You are accusing them of sexual assault of a particular kind.

  • Ah, haha, sorry did not realize about the sexual connotations, thanks for the warning.
    – JaJa
    Jul 5 '20 at 11:51
  • @JaJa - No need to apologise. That's what we're here for! It is quite acceptable to ask about such meanings on this website. (as long as people ask in an adult way). Jul 5 '20 at 12:06
  • 1
    But the verb "finger" applied to a person can also mean to blame or implicate, similar to "point a finger at".
    – nanoman
    Jul 6 '20 at 7:26
  • @nanoman - You are thinking of "to put the finger on somebody". This is completely different. John put the finger on Mary" ---> John put the blame on Mary. --- That's okay, but John fingered Mary!!!!! is definitely a sexual act. If you doubt me, Google how to finger someone Jul 6 '20 at 9:55
  • @nanoman - P.S. When I have time, I'll add to my answer to give a fuller reply to your comment. Jul 6 '20 at 10:17

One can just say "(so) no need for lecture (on that)"... found countless articles with that phrase.

And the raised index finger ordinary is rather a gesture of scold (scolting) than of lecture...

so one could possibly also say "don't scold me".


There aren't really any obvious alternatives. Maybe harping on: "I've had it with them/her/him harping on". Also "going on and on" or "not letting up".

Other alternatives, depending on context, could be berating, moralising, proselytising, or harassing.

Finger-wagging, according to various dictionary definitions, is a reprimand, warning, or threat. In modern usage, it often implies moral judgement. See these examples:

https://www.politico.eu/article/germans-need-to-stop-with-the-finger-wagging/ https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE2005/S00110/finger-wagging-at-senior-doctors-unhelpful.htm

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