It’s easy to remember the names of the different parts of your body: The head, the legs, etc. However, some parts of the body might have names that you don’t know. Have you ever wondered what the names of your five toes are? This article will answer that question.
The names of your five toes are “big toe”, “second toe”, “third toe”, “fourth toe” and “little toe”. They might have different names in other contexts, but the most commonly used terms to describe them are these. Three of them are numbered, the other two are named after their size.
The so-called “big toe” is scientifically known as the “hallux”, and can generally be remembered as the biggest toe, and the one closest to the other foot’s toes.
The “little toe” is known by several other names, such as “baby toe” or “pinky toe”, and is the toe that is the farthest away from the other foot’s toes.
The first toe is known by perhaps the biggest amount of names: It’s known as the “hallux”, as the “big toe”, as the “first toe” and the “great toe”. This is maybe due to the fact that it’s the biggest, and therefore comes up the most in conversation.
The first toe is perhaps the most notable one, because by comparison to all the other toes it’s remarkably large. It’s known as the first toe because it’s the innermost toe.
The second toe is either known as just the second toe or as the “long toe”. This is a term that can be somewhat of a misnomer, an inaccurate description, because the so-called “long toe” is often shorter than the “great toe” or “big toe”.
The second toe can sometimes be the longest toe, but it very often is not. This is a good example of the fact that the names for things don’t necessarily reflect the truth about them.
The third toe is usually referred to as the “ring toe”, though this is a moniker that it shares with the fourth toe. It makes sense that this description would be inconsistent, as actually wearing rings in toes is less common than with fingers.
The third toe can be thought of as one of the less remarkable toes, and because less things are done with your feet than with your hands, “ring toe” is an odd descriptor.
However, sometimes the third toe is also described as “the middle toe”, because it is in fact the toe that is fully in the middle of the foot.
The fourth toe is mostly referred to as the “ring toe”, a nickname that it shares with the third toe. However unlike the third toe, which can also be described as the “middle toe”, the fourth toe has no other notable nicknames besides the “ring toe”.
Because of the way that human feet are structured, the fourth toe is the second-smallest toe, and it’s only bigger than the fifth toe itself.
The fifth toe is the smallest toe, and is therefore often referred to as the “small toe” or “little toe”. It is the most further away from the other foot’s toes when compared to the other toes, and it’s on the outside of the foot as opposed to the inside.
Other alternate names for the fifth toe are the “pinky toe” or the “baby toe”. The former is because of the similar location to the pinky finger, and the latter is a reference to its small size.
According to the Google Ngram Viewer, the most popular name for the big toe at the moment is “big toe”, though this wasn’t always the case.
Analyzing the data reveals the fact that in the beginning of the 19th century, the most common term was actually “great toe”. This was true until 1967, when “big toe” overtook it.
Examining the other terms also reveals some fascinating information. The term “first toe” has generally been the most unpopular of the nicknames for the first toe itself, and has stayed consistently unpopular.
The term “hallux” really started picking up steam at the beginning of the 19th century, and has had a few spikes and valleys in popularity since then.
It’s worth acknowledging, however, that “hallux” would naturally not get the same use as a term like “big toe” or “great toe”; since it’s a scientific name first and foremost.
Nowadays, “great toe” is the second most popular term, barely passing “hallux” in popularity, something that happened in 2017, a few years ago.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.