PRONUNCIATION: (STIK-ee fing-guhrd)

MEANING: adjective: Given to stealing.

ETYMOLOGY: From stick (to fasten or attach), from Old English stician (to pierce) + finger, from Old English. Earliest documented use: 1855.

NOTES: Lime is another word for something sticky or slimy. Birdlime is used to catch birds. From lime we got the term lime-fingered, alluding to someone whose fingers easily adhere to stuff belonging to others, in other words, someone prone to stealing. Eventually the terms sticky-handed and sticky-fingered entered the language. Sometimes the metaphors and reality collide, as in these headlines:
Quebec Police Seek Sticky-Fingered Thieves with $30m of Maple Syrup (The Guardian)
Sticky-Fingered Thieves Made Off with $200 in Honey (The Huntsville Times)
Let’s hope someone fingered the thieves.

STOCKY-FINGERED - having short, fat fingers

STICK-FINGERED - drawn by a four-year-old

STICK-FINE RED - take a good Cabernet and beat it with a stake until it froths.