Armpit Knees

Here’s something to think about: If you can call your little toe “pinkie toe,” why aren’t the back of your knees called “armpit knees?” This bit of philosophy was brought to my attention by Kaiden. The other day he said to me, “Mommy, my armpit knees hurt.” It took me a moment to figure out what body part he was talking about. But of course it makes perfect sense to a 4-year old still figuring out words and what things are called that the area behind your knees – which is very similar to an armpit – would be called, what else, an “Armpit Knee.” I think it’s pure logical brilliance.

So that got me to thinking. Shouldn’t the front of the elbow then be called “elbow armpit?”

Apparently, both of these zones have official scientific names that don’t make their ‘armpit’ relationship clear at all. The back of the knee is called popliteal fossa, which to me sounds more like the name of a primitive ancestor unearthed in Africa than a body part, and the elbow crease is anticube or anticubital area. Doesn’t that one sound more like a word you learned in fifth grade sex ed and then tried to look up for yourself in that book you found under your parents’ bed? Or maybe that was just me.


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