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I'm curious about the final line of the musician Kishi Bashi's song "Atticus, in the Desert":

あたま ふらふら ゆびさき が かたくなる

I understand the direct translation of this ("head dizzy fingertips get hard") but it seems as if there must be a figurative or poetic meaning to ゆびさき が かたくなる. Otherwise it just sounds like disconnected nonsense.

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指先が硬くなる is not a well-known idiomatic phrase. Judging from the rest of the lyrics, the person(?) in the song is about to be swallowed by sand. So I feel this line suggests his finger is so dried that he cannot move his finger anymore.

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  • Ok, good to know. If anything I imagine the repeated phrase "you suck my finger" gives 指先が硬くなる a more sexual connotation, but I didn't know if finger-related metaphors are common in Japanese innuendo.
    – Andrew
    Nov 8, 2016 at 0:41

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