I have often observed the knuckles of some people bearing weird bruises. Googling tells me a 'callus' fits the description of the bruise. Is there a term for these knuckles?

  • Anything wrong with using the past participle as in, callused knuckles ? – Blessed Geek Jul 5 '15 at 5:59
  • Nope. It's fine. But I found the most apt term for it: Russell's sign. (See below). – Kugelblitz Jul 5 '15 at 6:00
  • Are these bruises or calluses? They are very different things. – Mitch Jul 5 '15 at 9:55

I don't know if there's a more appropriate one, but I'm partial to using the word gnarled in this situation. Especially when I want the aged, hard work or ruggedness connotations.

From Merriam-Webster


full of knots or gnarls : knotty [gnarled hands]


I found the term I was looking for:

Russell's Sign

  • 1
    Really? You were specifically looking for a term that means bruises on knuckles which indicate repeated self induced vomitting?? Why did you omit this from the original question? – Jim Jul 5 '15 at 6:31
  • No. Not really. But I'd noticed this on bulimics... – Kugelblitz Jul 5 '15 at 6:38
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    If you're not looking for the term specifically for self-induced vomited you'd be unwise to use it as a generalised term for calloused knuckles. – Mynamite Jul 5 '15 at 9:24
  • Indeed. I agree. – Kugelblitz Jul 5 '15 at 13:39

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