Monthly Knuckles

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Picture of Knuckles - Tipnut.comIf you don’t have a calendar on hand, here’s an easy way to figure out which months have 31 days and which have 30:

  • Count the months on your knuckles and the grooves between your knuckles. Leave out your thumb knuckle.
  • Every month that lands on a knuckle is 31 days, every month that lands on a groove between knuckles is 30 days (or 28 for February).

Starting with your forefinger’s knuckle:

1st knuckle: Jan (31 days)
Groove: Feb (28 or 30 days)
2nd knuckle: March (31 days)
Groove: April (30 days)
3rd Knuckle: May (31 days)
Groove: June (30 days)
4th Knuckle: July (31 days)

Returning to first knuckle (the forefinger, remember–skip the thumb knuckle)

1st Knuckle: August (31 days)
Groove: September (30 days)
2nd Knuckle: October (31 days)
Groove: November (30 days)
3rd Knuckle: December (31 days)

Instead of moving right to left by starting with your forefinger, you could also start with your pinkie’s knuckle and move left to right. Still works out the same.

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Published: December 19, 2006

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14 Comments to “Monthly Knuckles”
  1. Jeremy says:

    I never heard of this before – what a neat tip!

  2. frank says:

    very cool, I’ll never wonder about it again!

  3. Vicki says:

    I used to always sing the little jingle 30 days has September, April, June and November. This works just as well and is kind of aq fun bit of trivia!

  4. Bob Bennett says:

    I learned this tip from Kaptain Kangaroo (Bob Keashan) back in the 50′s (yeah, I’m that old) but it’s nice to see it updated on the web.

  5. kookie says:

    I have always used it. My mom had taught me this and I think most of the kids at school in India also knew it.

  6. Rob O. says:

    Okay, this is just trippy! Only yesterday, I was mentioning to a co-worker that I had never learned the little poem to remember which months have 31 days so he taught me this previously unheard-of knuckle trick.

    Now it just so happenes to be circulating all over the Internet less than 24 hours later. Kinduva bizarre coincidence…

  7. TipNut says:

    ITA Rob, that IS trippy! :lol:

    Thanks for the comments everyone, it is something so many of us grew up with–and the rest of us had no clue. I was taught this from a friend when I was in my mid-30′s (not as old as you Bob lol).

  8. Jason says:

    That is also a very old Chinese method on teaching kids to figure out longer or shorter months, almost every kid knows how to do that from 3 years old.

  9. C. Spencer Beggs says:

    I just repeat this little nursery rhyme my mom taught me:

    Thirty day hath September
    April, June and November
    All the rest have thirty-one
    Except for February
    Which has twenty-eight

    I guess the whole rhyme scheme breaks down at the end, but we always did it last part in a cheesy Vaudeville voice for effect. You can also say:

    Except for February
    Which hath but twenty-eight, in fine,
    ‘Til leap year makes it twenty-nine

  10. R Bailey says:

    C. Spencer Beggs, that’s very similar to the one I learned from my (English) grandmother here in Australia –

    Thirty days hath September
    April, June and November
    All the rest have thirty-one
    Excepting February, all alone
    Which has twenty-eight days clear,
    And twenty-nine each leap year.

    This one keeps the rhyming structure so I find it very easy to remember.

  11. Ganesh Kulkarni says:

    We in India are using this tip for ages. I learnt it when I learnt to say ‘aa’ from my grandmother.
    I wonder why I never thought of it worth putting on web!
    Nice job.

  12. Ashley says:

    The way I learned the rhyme was:

    Thirty days hath September
    April, June, and November.
    All the rest have thirty one,
    But the second month alone,
    To which we twenty-eight assign,
    and in Leap Year twenty-nine.

    I fyou actually know this little ditty, it’s much faster than counting knuckles!

  13. Rob M. says:

    Here in Brazil, everybody knows this trick!
    But he have a trickier version! You don’t have to use both hands!
    You use one as the “calendar” and the other to count. When you get to July you repeat August on that knuckle and came backwards… Was that clear?


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