Pinky Swears Were Serious Business!

@Corbin5 (113165)
United States
June 13, 2018 1:25pm CST
As kids, if we made a promise to one of our friends we had to do a pinky swear to seal the deal. The pinky swear meant that the promise would be kept at all costs. A pinky swear, also known as a pinky promise, involved one kid linking, or entwining, one of his pinky fingers with the pinky finger of the other kid. A pinky swear was serious business for kids. The pinky swear was in play since around 1860 in the USA. Pinky swearing is said to have started in Japan, and more recently, the pinky swear is now used in South Korea.. As kids, our pinky swears never involved reciting the verse below, but in some parts of the USA, the following was an important part of the promise: "Pinky, pinky bow-bell, Whoever tells a lie Will sink down to the bad place [sic] And never rise up again." If you make a pinky swear, or pinky promise, take it very, very seriously.
26 people like this
28 responses
@Courtlynn (55630)
• United States
13 Jun
We never did that saying either, but sure did a lot of pinky swears / promises. Unfortunately, not many stuck by them. But then we were just kids. I still do them with all my nieces and nephews. and so far so good.
3 people like this
@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
13 Jun
Glad the pinky swear is working out well with your nieces and nephews. My friends and I often broke those pinky swears too, and the one who we promised would say, "But we did a pinky swear!"
1 person likes this
@Courtlynn (55630)
• United States
13 Jun
@Corbin5 I never broke them. Promises / my word, is important.. and everything.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
13 Jun
1 person likes this
@just4him (124201)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
13 Jun
I always took my pinky swears seriously. I don't remember what they were anymore, but at the time, yes, ma'am. They were serious.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
13 Jun
Yes, a pinky swear was of great importance. My husband said that only girls did pinky swears.
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@just4him (124201)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
13 Jun
@Corbin5 I think he's right. Boys spit.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
14 Jun
@just4him I remember my brother doing that. Yucky boys.
1 person likes this
@mandala100 (48402)
• Hong Kong
13 Jun
Thank you for your discussion about pinky swear and all the information you mentioned my friend.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
13 Jun
You are welcome, my friend.
@mandala100 (48402)
• Hong Kong
16 Jun
@Corbin5 Thank you my friend.
1 person likes this
@TRBRocks420 (81163)
• Banks, Oregon
13 Jun
Oh yes very serious business indeed lol.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
14 Jun
Kids sure do think up the strangest things to do.
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@snowy22315 (51159)
• United States
13 Jun
I don't think I ever made a pinky swear or promise.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
13 Jun
I think that is good. A pinky swear puts a lot of pressure on a little kid.
@amadeo (70522)
• United States
13 Jun
I have heard about this.But never done it
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
13 Jun
My husband told me only the girls did pinky swears, not the boys. He is probably right.
@MALUSE (42658)
• Germany
13 Jun
I don't know this custom. Maybe it hasn't crossed the Atlantic.
2 people like this
@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
13 Jun
We used to pinky swear all the time as kids. Breaking a pinky swear was not to be done, but being little kids, we broke them often enough.
• Pamplona, Spain
13 Jun
We did not do pinky swears we would do a kind of high fives choca esos cinco you know that kind of thing. I have heard of it though but we did that similar thing and it was a game for us as well most of the time. We were always loyal to each other.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
13 Jun
Yes, we tried our best to remain loyal too. Kids really do take certain things quite seriously.
1 person likes this
• Pamplona, Spain
13 Jun
@Corbin5 Also we did things like that swear a sort of oath a promise that we would keep between ourselves and we did and took that seriously.
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@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
13 Jun
@lovinangelsinstead21 I think we did the oath thing too!! Clever kids we were.
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@JudyEv (130419)
• Bunbury, Australia
14 Jun
I don't remember this in Australia but perhaps it did.
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@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
14 Jun
My husband said that guys did not do the pinky swear. Guys would look rather silly doing that, come to think of it.
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@JudyEv (130419)
• Bunbury, Australia
14 Jun
@Corbin5 They probably slapped hands and spat!
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
15 Jun
@JudyEv They did!!!!
1 person likes this
@MarymargII (10396)
• Toronto, Ontario
14 Jun
Yes they were and still would be if I did them- perhaps I will resurrect that lovely tradition-ha!
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@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
14 Jun
I think we should bring the pinky swear back!!!
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@MarymargII (10396)
• Toronto, Ontario
16 Jun
@Corbin5 Yes, especially with politicians- lol!
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@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
16 Jun
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (171073)
• Switzerland
14 Jun
We had something similar, we did not shake the little fingers, but we crossed our index fingers in front of our mouth and kissed telling "giurin giurello, possa crepĂ  se non dico la veritĂ " (pinky swear, may I die if I lie).
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
14 Jun
I love that little rhyme!! Kids are so creative.
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@LadyDuck (171073)
• Switzerland
14 Jun
@Corbin5 I remember that my father told me that they did when he was a kid.
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@Hannihar (40187)
14 Jun
@Corbin5 I an aware of pinky swears. I thought people just pinky sweared and never recited something. I always thought that when you pinky swear like you did that have to keep the promise you pinky swear to.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
14 Jun
We never recited anything either. Just the pinky swear for us.
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@Hannihar (40187)
15 Jun
@Corbin5 I cannot remember if I ever did it but remember it.
1 person likes this
@ridingbet (57825)
• Philippines
14 Jun
yes we had the pinky swear when i was in my elementary and high school years. i and my BFF did that in our freshman high school year
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
14 Jun
I think girls did it. My husband said that guys never did that. Guys would look rather silly doing the pink swear.
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@ridingbet (57825)
• Philippines
16 Jun
@Corbin5 that is true. pinky swearing during my younger years do also mean starting a game, and when the game is ended, our index fingers with another girl, do intertwine.
1 person likes this
@dgobucks226 (13283)
14 Jun
Interesting info. No pinky swears but I have heard spitting on your hand and shaking on it is also effective
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@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
14 Jun
Apparently, according to my husband, pinky swears were done by girls; the spitting on the hand by boys. Boys are yucky.
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@dgobucks226 (13283)
15 Jun
@Corbin5 Yes, that is how It goes
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@DianneN (82236)
• United States
14 Jun
We did that all the time as children. I feel some adults should still pinky swear.
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@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
14 Jun
Yes, the pinky swear should be used by all ages!!! My husband said that only girls did pinky swears, but I think it is about time that boys start doing it because boys mess things up far too often!!
1 person likes this
@DianneN (82236)
• United States
14 Jun
@Corbin5 So true! I only did it with my besties. No way would the boys ever pinky swear, but they should!
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@mlgen1037 (29634)
• Manila, Philippines
13 Jun
Hi Deborah. I miss those pinky swears and when we were kids it was a pact I made with friends and cousins. I just am not sure what happened now. Guess the pinky swear was just a kiddie play for them.
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@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
14 Jun
Hi Louise! Yes, pinky swear was mainly just for fun, but we did try and keep the promise, most of the time.
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@mlgen1037 (29634)
• Manila, Philippines
14 Jun
@Corbin5 It was real for me. I thought we will keep the promise till the end.
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@Tracy04 (10821)
• Malaysia
22 Jul
hahah, usually children will do pinky promises. But us among friends will do these things too.
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@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
22 Jul
We sure took those pinky promises and pinky swears quite seriously as kids.
@BelleStarr (39588)
• United States
15 Jun
We never did the pinky swear but I can imagine it was taken quite seriously.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
15 Jun
My husband informed me that only girls did pinky swears. I think he is right about that.
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@sharon6345 (135620)
• United States
14 Jun
You are right on with this one here. It was the way to convince yourself someone was not telling lies. I learned to not bother with it.
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@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
14 Jun
We only did it when we were little, but when we got older, we abandoned the pinky swear too.
@andriaperry (56436)
• United States
14 Jun
I remember those as well. This makes me recall a movie I watched with Micky Rooney in it, he was a kid.
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@Corbin5 (113165)
• United States
14 Jun
I bet I have seen that movie. I love those old movies.