Fat-Finger Error

What Does Fat-Finger Error Mean?

A fat-finger error is a slang term for a typing mistake. It is usually a small typo, such as an extra zero, that has out-sized consequences.


A fat-finger error may also be referred to as fat finger syndrome.

Techopedia Explains Fat-Finger Error

The most notorious type of fat finger errors are financial transactions. A trader using a computer terminal to enter orders may mistake the amount of a stock or bond being bought or sold, or may buy or sell the wrong financial asset altogether. If the mistake is large enough or is made by a closely watched financial institution, it can send the wider market into a panic as other participants try to figure out what the trader who made the error knows. In the worst case scenario, it might be that the trader blows up his account.

It is also acceptable to refer to or typing mistakes as fat finger errors, although their consequences are much less severe.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…