The Truth About Pinky Swear
Pinky swear is a term used all over the globe, but not many people know it stemmed from Yubikiri.
In Japan, many people kiss another person’s palm to give assurance or seal a deal. When one does this, it is considered a promise made with high regard. In the same country, Yubikiri, which means “finger cut off” is also practiced.
The pinky swear has been used in the US as a way to make an unbreakable vow since at least the 1860s when it was mentioned in Bartlett’s Dictionary of Americanisms. In the document, this can be found:
“Pinky, pinky, bow-bell. Whoever tells a lie will sink down to a bad place and never rise up again.”
In Korea, the practice is also popular among close friends and school-age children. Koreans have even made a modification, where the thumbs touch each other as the pinkies are hooked. This meant “sealing” the promise.