English has no names for the toes. Each finger has a name; the fifth has at least three: little, pinky, and auricular. But the toes are anonymous.
English isn’t alone in this; most languages see no reason to name toes. The only exception I know of is Swedish, which, thanks to a nursery rhyme, lists Lilltåa, Tåtilla, Kroknoso, Tillerosa, and Stortimpen.
The usual explanation is that toes don’t need names, since we don’t discuss them individually. We deploy them as a team. That may be; but other body parts we seldom discuss have names: the philtrum, for example.
Besides, some specialists could use more precise terms: chiropodists, podiatrists, fetishists, reflexologists. Spiritualists may practice toe-cracking, like the Fox sisters; escapologists may practice toe-knotting, like Houdini.
I offer, then, these names for the toes, for whoever needs or wants them. Like most names, they identify rather than describe, but I’ve tried to give them a suitable gravitas and panache. They are, starting with the largest: oxnard, secretaire, clapmatch, jess, and matey.
Who knows? Maybe they’ll prove useful.
(Posted by Doug Skinner)