I was talking in an SE chatroom about fingers, and not being a native English speaker, I had to look up the word used for the part of a finger from the tip to the closest knuckle. I came across the word "phalanges", but the Wikipedia article specifically refered to this as phalanx bones, i.e. just the bone and not everything around it. Can this term also be used to describe the bone plus all of the softer parts around it like the muscles, blood vessels, skin and nail? If not, is there a more commonly accepted biological term for the bone plus the soft tissue around it?


1 Answer 1


It's a great question, and in my humble opinion, the answer is:

Phalanx (plural: phalanges), (also Cambridge and MedicineNet) is the term for one of the bones (only) in the fingers or toes and not for all the "meat" around it. The Google images search for phalanges is quite convincing.

Someone on https://english.stackexchange.com/ might know a word for the whole bone + "meat" part of the finger.

  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, are you implying that asking for terminology is off-topic on this stack? $\endgroup$
    – Nzall
    Oct 18, 2019 at 14:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Nzall, No, I'm trying to explain anatomy terms. All fine, if you ask me. I was thinking, if you are asking for a term that describes the whole part of the finger asociated with a phalanx, some person on English could serve you better. $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    Oct 18, 2019 at 14:24

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