Sorry, perhaps this has been asked before but I just can't think of what this way of sitting should be called. Is there a word for it? I hope so!

To be more specific, you're sitting upright in a chair or something with one foot planted on the ground firmly enough while calf of the other leg is resting on the knee of the planted leg. Men tend to sit like this far more than women.

Thank you for your help!!

EDIT: Ok, as Mitch kindly suggested I try and do, I found a picture with the search terms "crossed legs man" Man with crossed legs

  • picture? google images (with related keywords)? – Mitch Apr 1 '15 at 22:13
  • You mean like this?. It's not necessarily comfortable or decorus for many people. I have absolutely no idea what to call it though. Edit and "revert" my edit if I've got it wrong. – FumbleFingers Apr 1 '15 at 22:25
  • Well, stumbling around Google just now, I found a picture but it didn't help find a word, unfortunately. I'll add it to the question... – koumori Apr 1 '15 at 22:27
  • "Ankle-on-knee leg cross". – Mike Apr 1 '15 at 22:29
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    Hi, every so often I go through posts which have "How do you call....?" or "How are ______ called?" in their questions or titles. See the discussion in this post: “How do we call (something) in English?” Would you mind editing your title to What do you call sitting ....?” Thanks! – Mari-Lou A May 4 '16 at 22:29

You probably mean sitting with leg crossed: (ankle-on-knee)

  • figure sitting position involves resting one foot over the thigh of the other, and it's usually much more comfortable for men than the tight leg cross. It’s a popular male leg cross, although it can be seen in some assertive and extrovert women too.

enter image description here

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  • Thank you! That was simpler than I imagined! If I said something like "he sat with leg crossed", though, do you think that would bring this image to mind? – koumori Apr 1 '15 at 22:31
  • I think it is a very common way to cross legs for men while sitting. – user66974 Apr 1 '15 at 22:34
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    I agree but, I mean, if I said "he sat with leg crossed" or "a leg crossed" would someone reading that think of this position of sitting or with his legs crossed so that the knees rest one on top of the other? I think ankle-on-knee does seem to be the most succinct way to put it. – koumori Apr 1 '15 at 22:36

As others have noted, this could be described in basic terms as sitting with sitting with crossed legs or with a leg crossed, but to be more specific, Allan Pease's Body Language: How to read others' thoughts by their gestures (Sheldon Press, 1981) refers to this specific position as an "American figure four" because it is supposedly a

sitting position used by many American males who have a competitive nature

and to be contrasted with what he terms the "standard" leg cross, as such:

Figures from 'Body Language' comparing standard and figure 4 leg crosses

He retains this terminology in The Definitive Book of Body Language (Random House, 2008):

Legs crossed in a figure four

in contrast with the Europea Leg Cross (with a higher knee) and the Ankle Cross among others, and while I have never heard those terms in everyday use, I have heard of one crossing his legs in a figure-four. Whether originating from these books or from elsewhere, the terminology is used not only by other body language websites and books but in medical uses and massage guides, among others.

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commons.wikimedia has loads of such pictures in...

Category:Sitting with legs crossed (ankle-on-knee)

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  • Yeah, ankle-on-knee does sound like a good way to put it. Thank you very much! – koumori Apr 1 '15 at 22:34
  • @koumori: It's just a description, and it would probably cause puzzlement for many if you didn't include contextualizing sitting. Nobody ever uses adjectival ankle-kneed to describe a posture or sitting position. Actually, apart from the rather weird arms akimbo, I don't think we have any dedicated terms for different ways the limbs can be arranged. – FumbleFingers Apr 2 '15 at 0:52

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