I'm not talking about the arrow as in bow and arrow, but about this kind of arrow → . The tip is called 'arrow head', but what do I call the point where it starts? Starting point of the arrow? Foot of the arrow? Base of the arrow?

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    I don't know if I've ever encountered a context where such a term might be needed (if I have, then I've forgotten it). But the first candidate that comes to mind for me is the origin. – FumbleFingers Feb 27 '16 at 18:18
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    Originally started to answer the question, then realized I misread the question. I do not have a cite, but I have a strong feeling that the opposite of arrow "head" is "tail". Going to do more research. Edit: Found a usage here, another, and another. Still looking for solid cites. – Joan Schneider Feb 27 '16 at 18:25
  • Nock and shaft clearly refer to the arrow that is used to actually shoot sth. Origin and tail sound fine to me, although the links provided all refer to the arrow that is used for shooting. – Vaurien Feb 27 '16 at 18:42
  • Arrow "glossary" here. Stump your friends at the cabin. tradbow.com/public/Glossary-of-Archery-Terms.cfm – user116032 Feb 28 '16 at 16:31

The ending point of the arrow is the tail just as the starting point is the head. See my comment for three sources using it in this manner.


tail 1 (tāl) n. 1. The posterior part of an animal, especially when elongated and extending beyond the trunk or main part of the body. 2. The bottom, rear, or hindmost part, especially: a. The lowest part of a garment such as a shirt or coat. b. The rear end of an automobile or other vehicle. c. The rear portion of the fuselage of an aircraft or the assembly of stabilizing planes and control surfaces in this portion. d. The vaned rear portion of a bomb or missile.

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    Well, I would say the starting point is the tail and the ending point is the head. This is the conventional notion (and notation) of a vector in mathematics. – Phil Sweet Feb 27 '16 at 19:30
  • What phil said. I suppose it depends on which end you are looking at, the pointer or the pointee. – Joan Schneider Feb 27 '16 at 19:48
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    If the arrow is long and curves, as when used in some flow charts, etc, one might use the term "origin". – Hot Licks Feb 27 '16 at 19:56
  • The comment concerning the notation of vectors is really helpful. Tail it is. Thank you! – Vaurien Feb 27 '16 at 20:46

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