smash [transitive, intransitive] smash (something) to break something, or to be broken, violently and noisily into many pieces

Several windows had been smashed.

He smashed the radio to pieces.

The glass bowl smashed into a thousand pieces.

crush [transitive] crush somebody/something to press something so hard that it is damaged or injured, or loses its shape

The car was completely crushed under the truck.

Several people were crushed to death in the accident.

Say, you put your fingers in the hinge of the door & you suddenly closed the door, which hurts your fingers

When I google images for "crushed finger", I found more "smashed finger" than "crushed finger" results (source)

But The Ngram says "crushed fingers" is more common than "smashed fingers"

I would say "smashed finger" is not too accurate because it tends to break into pieces while "crushed finger" is more accurate because it is more about losing shape when pressed.

Why do more people say "smashed finger in the door" than "crushed finger in the door"?

  • But doesn't the Ngram prove that "crushed finger(s) is more commonly used? Try repeating the same search but using the singular and with a possessive pronoun.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 6:00
  • books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Mar 3, 2020 at 6:05

1 Answer 1


There are many common collocations out there which formed over the years hence "smashed fingers" could be one of them.

In the medical terminology "smashed fingers" is a widely defined injury of the fingers that includes any trauma, smashed, jammed, pinched, crushed or smacked fingertips or muscles, and crushed or broken finger bones are also under this category.

That being said, other combinations such as "crushed fingers" or "jammed fingers"are also valid and understood.

You can smash your fingers with something heavy (if it falls on them, for instance, a piano lid) or crush them with a hammer (especially the bones), or jam them with a door when it slams with force upon them.

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