The bony prominence on either side of the ankle are called the inner and outer malleolus. That term is however too technical to be used in the story I'm writing. Does the English language have any other terms for them?


Even though the malleoli are actually the lower ends of the bones of the leg, I think most people would simply call the bone the ankle-bone, if they had to refer to it specifically; even more common would be to use just ankle.

I came off my bike and cracked my ankle-bone.
I slipped on the ice and scraped all the skin off my ankle.

[ODO lists ankle-bone as meaning the talus. It's a complex joint and any of its bones or knobbles could be referred to colloquially as "ankle-bone".]

  • When I hurt my ankle by twisting it - the damage is lower than the knuckle. When I buy shoes, the irritation of the outer ankle knuckle determines if the shoe is too tall on the side or not. – mplungjan Sep 20 '13 at 11:45
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    I've never heard the word knuckle for this particular bony protuberance. It is used for fingers (and the finger-joint on the back of the hand), and when occasion demands, for joints in the longer toes. I'm not disputing you might use it for the ankle; I've never heard it so used. – Andrew Leach Sep 20 '13 at 11:49
  • Well SOME people use it: google.com/search?q="ankle+knuckle" – mplungjan Sep 20 '13 at 15:49

Outer ankle knuckle

could be a layman's term for the lateral malleolus


  • Thank you! I had never heard of the term. May I ask if it is a colloquial word specific to any english-speaking region/country or is it used all over and I just happen to have missed it? I'm setting the story in a non english speaking society, so using a term particular to a certain region across the world will be a little odd. – festerfaster Sep 20 '13 at 9:33
  • Seems to be quite well used sportnetdoc.com/foot-ankle/tendon-luxation-outer-ankle-knuckle – mplungjan Sep 20 '13 at 11:44
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    I don't know about layman's term, it might be used by sporty people but I can't imagine anyone shouting out "Ow! I've just banged my outer ankle knuckle!" I would go with Andrew's answer, it's just an ankle to most people. It's a dry bone connected to your heel bone and your leg bone – Mynamite Sep 20 '13 at 13:41
  • A Downvote on this? Seriously? – mplungjan Dec 25 '16 at 17:37

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