Finger’d their packet, and in fine withdrew To mine own room again.

Almost every company of actors I’ve ever been a part of would have made a great deal of fun of “finger’d their packet” – but maybe it was just the company of Hamlet I was in, especially. We were, after all, pretty young and dirty jokes were our bread and butter. Not really my bread and butter – but the bread and butter that held the group together.

In that company, both Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were both played by women – so there was some extra frisson to the idea to the idea of Hamlet fingering their packet.

I like that fingering has meant so many things over the years – in this case, stealing and/or pickpocketing. I’m not sure when fingering as a way of snitching on someone came in to play – I suspect it was in the Al Capone era. And of course there’s the bread and butter actor’s dirty mind of fingering someone.


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