Saturday, 4 February 2017

home again, home again, jiggety-jig

Thanks to a romp through the vast archives of the Futility Closet we learn not only of the clinical names of the manual digits—invoked when there’s no room for the vagaries of terms like pointer-finger: digitus pollicis, indicis, medius, annularis, that anatomists never bothered given the toes—except for the big one called hallux (like pollex for the thumb)—proper names. One clever medical student offered a naming-convention which followed in Latin the counting rhyme of “This Little Piggy” where one wiggles the corresponding toe. The little toe is called under this nomenclature porcellus plorans domun, piglet crying homeward. Be sure to check out more engaging curiosities at the website above.