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November 5, 2014 5:49 PM   Subscribe

What do you call your smallest toe?

Wondering if it's a regional thing, or an age thing: What do you call your distal, outermost, smallest toe: your "pinky toe," "little toe," or "baby toe"? When were you born? Where are you from?
posted by steef to Writing & Language (76 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Pinky toe, mid 1970s, Wisconsin
posted by desjardins at 5:52 PM on November 5, 2014


Pinky toe, mid 70s, portland oregon.
posted by peep at 5:54 PM on November 5, 2014


Baby toe. Seattle. 50 years old.
posted by vapidave at 5:54 PM on November 5, 2014


Pinky toe, 1973, Central Indiana.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 5:54 PM on November 5, 2014


Pinky toe or little toe; 1965; Georgia.

Complication: Dad was a Hoosier (from Indiana). Mom is an immigrant. It is possible this has more to do with where my father is from than where I grew up.

I have never seen "baby toe" before.
posted by Michele in California at 5:56 PM on November 5, 2014


I think I started out calling it "little toe" and started calling it "pinky toe" later. "Baby toe" doesn't sound wrong to me, but it's not nomenclature that immediately comes to mind. 1979, southern US.

Also known as Little Pea according to some of my aunts from Kansas.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:56 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Little toe, 1970s, England. (For completeness: heard of "baby toe", never heard of "pinky toe".)
posted by Thing at 5:58 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Baby toe and pinky toe, both. :) 1977. Rural middle NC. Mom was born and raised in Baltimore, Dad's from here.
posted by joycehealy at 5:58 PM on November 5, 2014


Little toe, 1968, downstate Illinois
posted by drlith at 5:58 PM on November 5, 2014


Little toe, or maybe pinky toe. 1991, Rhode Island/southeastern Massachusetts.
posted by smangosbubbles at 5:59 PM on November 5, 2014


Born in Texas in the early 70s to Hoosier parents. I call it my pinky toe, except when I'm talking to another human being about my pinky toe and don't want to sound infantile. Then I call it my little toe.

(If you're wondering why I have repeated occasion to talk about my pinky toes to others, it's because I break them, often.)
posted by mudpuppie at 5:59 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Pinky toe; 1981 Wisconsin

I think I could accept little toe, but baby toe is weird.
posted by Weeping_angel at 5:59 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Pinky toe. South Carolina and New York City, 40 years old.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 6:00 PM on November 5, 2014


Baby toe and pinky toe interchangeably. California, early 1970s.
posted by cecic at 6:01 PM on November 5, 2014


Unless it's on a baby. Then they're all baby toes!
posted by Weeping_angel at 6:01 PM on November 5, 2014 [8 favorites]


Pinky toe. 1982 San Francisco. Little toe and baby toe also sound "right," little toe moreso.
posted by mollymayhem at 6:02 PM on November 5, 2014


Pinky toe, '82, Chicago burbs
posted by Fig at 6:04 PM on November 5, 2014


Mine are baby monkeytoes, obviously.

Pinky toes.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:04 PM on November 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


(PS It might be interesting for your survey to know if people match the name of their smallest toe with that of their smallest finger. Both "pinky", or both "little", or some mismatch between words? I'm sure people must analogize.)
posted by Thing at 6:08 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Baby toe, New England, 80's. Little toe is also acceptable, pinkies are fingers not toes but I'd understand what someone meant.
posted by tchemgrrl at 6:10 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Pinky toe, 1987, Connecticut.
posted by pemberkins at 6:11 PM on November 5, 2014


Pinky toe. Born in 1984, raised in Pittsburgh, but my parents are native New Yorkers.
posted by punchtothehead at 6:11 PM on November 5, 2014


Pinky toe, mid 1980s, Alabama.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:12 PM on November 5, 2014


Pinky toe, mid 1970s, Florida.
posted by bshort at 6:13 PM on November 5, 2014


Pinky toe, mid 1980s, N. Idaho.
Anything but "pinky toe" sounds completely wrong and unnatural. "Little finger" sounds okay but "pinky" for the smallest finger sounds better.
posted by esoterrica at 6:13 PM on November 5, 2014


This Cambridge online dialect survey, concluded in 2003, reports 46% of responders say "pinkie toe", 23% "little toe", 16% "pinkie", 9% "baby toe", 1% "small toe", and 1% say simply "piggie," "piggie toe," or "little piggie." I don't see many geographic patterns, but maybe there are age-based ones.

I am one of the 46%! Born in the 1980s in Hawaii, raised by a mixed family.
posted by nicodine at 6:13 PM on November 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


Ah, nicodine, that's exactly what I was looking for! I know that survey from a bunch of AskMes, too!
posted by steef at 6:16 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Little toe; born mid-50s New England, raised all over both coasts.
posted by easily confused at 6:20 PM on November 5, 2014


Baby toe, early 1980s, Texas
posted by aka burlap at 6:23 PM on November 5, 2014


In case you are interested in results from outside the USA, I call it my "little toe" or "baby toe", but not "pinky toe". I don't use "pinky" for my littlest finger either (or didn't before being exposed to it via American media, anyway).

New Zealand, 1980.
posted by lollusc at 6:29 PM on November 5, 2014


Little toe, Australia, 1970s.
posted by pompomtom at 6:37 PM on November 5, 2014


little toe, New Zealand, 1975.
posted by gaspode at 6:40 PM on November 5, 2014


little toe, North Carolina, 1980s.
posted by sonic meat machine at 6:49 PM on November 5, 2014


Little toe, late 1980s, Melbourne Australia. I also say little finger (never pinky).
posted by kinddieserzeit at 6:53 PM on November 5, 2014


Pinky toe, 1978, Seattle
posted by Jacqueline at 7:06 PM on November 5, 2014


Pinky toe, 1978, Northern Virginia.
posted by sweetkid at 7:17 PM on November 5, 2014


Pinky toe, 1971, confused US linguistic background (two Texan parents raised me in metro NYC.)

And FWIW, I always assumed "Pinky toe" or "Pinky finger" had to do with mouse babies. And I'm probably very wrong about that.
posted by workerant at 7:21 PM on November 5, 2014


Pinkie (not pinky) toe, DC but raised in Florida, late 70s.
posted by ch1x0r at 7:25 PM on November 5, 2014


Little toe, 1972, New Orleans, but I've probably said both of the other two before. I asked my six year old what she calls it and she said, "pinky toe. Or little toe. Yeah, little toe."

I have, when needing to refer to other toes, said "ring toe or pointer toe." Index toe... Hey, people knew what I meant.
posted by artychoke at 7:30 PM on November 5, 2014


Little toe. 44 years old from Ontario, Canada.
I have heard/used baby toe, but pinkie sounds weird to my ears.
(Not that's there's....)
posted by whowearsthepants at 7:34 PM on November 5, 2014


Baby toe; little finger. Early 40s, Vancouver, Canada.

Crouching tiger; hidden dragon
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 7:36 PM on November 5, 2014 [2 favorites]


Little toe. Early 1980s. Hong Kong/Australia.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:38 PM on November 5, 2014


Pinkie (not pinky)

I knew something didn't look right!

Pinkie toe, 49, Brooklyn but raised in L.A., broken twice (left foot)
posted by Room 641-A at 7:38 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Baby toe. Early 1960s in S.W. Ontario, Canada. Mum was from Belfast.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:47 PM on November 5, 2014


Wow. Never thought this would be how I would join the 1%, but piggie toe. Boston born and raised, late 1970s.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:52 PM on November 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


Little toe, mid 70s, pacific northwest.

All toes on babies are baby toes, so it's not exactly wrong to call it a baby toe if you're talking about a baby's little toe.

The only piggies I've heard of that have to do with toes are "this little piggy went to market, this one stayed home..." But it's not just the little toe that's a piggy there.
posted by yohko at 7:56 PM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


Pinky toe, 1980s, Midwest.
posted by limeonaire at 7:57 PM on November 5, 2014


Little toe, midwest, late 60s. Also little finger.

Until reading it head I had never heard "baby toe" or "pink[y|ie] toe" before.
posted by sevenless at 8:09 PM on November 5, 2014


Pinkie, 1980, Ohio. Never knew until tonight that this wasn't 100% universal.
posted by Perplexity at 8:26 PM on November 5, 2014


Baby toe, 1983, Chicago suburbs.
posted by augustimagination at 8:39 PM on November 5, 2014


I've confirmed that my East Coast–raised (by Midwestern-born parents) husband also calls it a pinkie toe.
posted by limeonaire at 8:41 PM on November 5, 2014


Never knew until just now that anyone called it anything else besides pinky toe, just like it's a pinky finger. Of course obviously now both of those names sound bizarre and I feel self-conscious.

1984, NYC-native

Just read on Wikipedia that "pinky" comes from Dutch so I guess that makes sense for New York.
posted by thebazilist at 9:57 PM on November 5, 2014


I called it my piggy toe as a child, but would say little toe now. Born in the 1970s in Papua New Guinea to Australian parents.
posted by arha at 10:42 PM on November 5, 2014


Baby toe or pinky toe, interchangeably, though baby toe perhaps slightly more often; 1967, Buffalo, New York.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 10:44 PM on November 5, 2014


Little toe, 1966, raised in California, though I have heard it called a baby toe and a pinky toe, I call it my little toe.
posted by patheral at 11:15 PM on November 5, 2014


(PS It might be interesting for your survey to know if people match the name of their smallest toe with that of their smallest finger. Both "pinky", or both "little", or some mismatch between words? I'm sure people must analogize.)

Just saw this. Pinky finger but little toe for me.
posted by patheral at 11:17 PM on November 5, 2014


Little toe, 1979, California with southern parents.
posted by St. Sorryass at 12:47 AM on November 6, 2014


Pinkie finger/baby toe, 1967, Chicago, IL.
posted by marimeko at 3:32 AM on November 6, 2014


Little toe, Australia, 1970s.

(I say 'little finger', too, never 'pinky finger').
posted by Salamander at 4:22 AM on November 6, 2014


PS It might be interesting for your survey to know if people match the name of their smallest toe with that of their smallest finger. Both "pinky", or both "little", or some mismatch between words? I'm sure people must analogize.

You have a pinky and a thumb on your hands. You have a big toe and little toe on your feet. That's what seems logical to me, though I'm apparently in the minority. Do you have a thumb toe? No! So why would you have a pinky toe?
posted by drlith at 4:49 AM on November 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


Pinky. Little toe when speaking with adults who are not close friends.
Mid 50s, Southern California.
posted by Homer42 at 5:09 AM on November 6, 2014


Pinky toe or little toe; 1971 b. South Carolina
posted by pointystick at 5:15 AM on November 6, 2014


Born in California, raised by southerners in Virginia: It's "pinkie toe" or "little toe."
posted by JanetLand at 6:30 AM on November 6, 2014


Little toe, little finger; Victoria, Australia, 1960s.
posted by flabdablet at 6:34 AM on November 6, 2014


Pinky toe. 1986 b. Connecticut, but had British parents.
posted by ghostpony at 7:09 AM on November 6, 2014


Pinkie toe/finger. 1982, b. Minnesota to one Southern and one Midwestern parent.
posted by koucha at 7:49 AM on November 6, 2014


little toe, 1976, upstate NY
husband says: little toe, 1972, california

pinky toe makes no sense. you don't have a thumb toe.
posted by TestamentToGrace at 7:54 AM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Pinky toe, Early 80s, Alberta, Canada (but my mom came from California, so I sometimes suspect I absorbed Americanisms from her)
posted by Kurichina at 8:00 AM on November 6, 2014


You have a pinky and a thumb on your hands. You have a big toe and little toe on your feet. That's what seems logical to me, though I'm apparently in the minority. Do you have a thumb toe? No! So why would you have a pinky toe?

To me, if I had to categorize, I'd say I have a big toe, the rest are collectively the little toes, and then, within the set of little toes, it is just the one furthest away from the big toe that is the pinky. I think this is different from my hands partially because all my little toes are roughly the same size, so saying just "little toe" doesn't seem to differentiate enough.

But this is all analysis after the fact. It's my pinky toe just because it's always been my pinky toe.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:43 AM on November 6, 2014


I call the smallest finger on my hand my little finger and the smallest toe on my foot my pinky toe. One of those things I just never thought about before, but yeah I don't have matching luggage with the words.
posted by sweetkid at 9:43 AM on November 6, 2014


pinky toe, 1968, pennsylvania.
posted by goml at 10:16 AM on November 6, 2014


baby toe, pinky finger. late 70s, Toronto
posted by machine at 10:18 AM on November 6, 2014


Pinky toe. New York, early 80s.
posted by celtalitha at 10:37 AM on November 6, 2014


Thank you so much, everybody, for answering! What a great dataset. I should add that I am a "big toe"/"little toe" person (Jersey, 1970, with two pinky fingers), but my friend (northwestern US, 1980s) who instigated this question is one of these alien, "baby-toed" people, in a family of "little toers".
posted by steef at 11:17 AM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Pinky toe? REALLY?

I come from "little toe" people, all the way back to the cradle of mankind.
posted by kythuen at 4:40 PM on November 6, 2014


Pinky toe, 1970, lifelong San Francisco Bay Area resident.
posted by Lexica at 10:25 PM on November 8, 2014


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