Source: La Tartine Gourmande
Researcher that I am, I had to get to the bottom of this (see my last post). According to La Tartine Gourmande, homemade lady fingers are, "softer in texture, and a little wider. Like little sponge cakes.
Initially, the shape of this biscuit was round. What gave the biscuit its name? La cuillère, the spoon, used to place amounts of dough on the baking sheet. Starting around the 19th century, the shape changed to become long rather than round. A spoon would no longer be used but a decoration bag instead, which explains the new shape of the biscuit. Who created them? Antonin Carême. What are they? What we can describe as small finger-shaped sponge cakes."
Well, that sort of answers my question. Despite the French roots on my mother's side (Merci, Maman), something inside of me still wants to call these PUDGY fingers!