Feet are an anatomical structure found in many vertebrates. They are the terminal portion of a limb which bears weight and allows locomotion. In many animals with feet, the foot is a separate organ at the terminal part of the leg made up of one or more segments or bones, generally including claws or nails. The human foot and ankle is a strong and complex mechanical structure containing more than 26 bones, 33 joints (20 of which are actively articulated), and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
- Homer describes Atë as a god and as delicate (or at any rate, with delicate feet): 'delicate are her feet; she walks not upon the ground, but goes upon the heads of men.' Presumably he's giving an example here to show how delicate—she goes not on what is hard, but on what is soft. We can use a similar argument to show how delicate Eros is. He does not walk upon the ground, nor yet on men's heads (which aren't that soft anyway); he lives and moves among the softest of all things, making his home in the hearts and minds of gods and men. And not in all hearts equally. He avoids any hard hearts he comes across, and settles among the tender-hearted. He must therefore be extremely delicate, since he only ever touches (either with his feet or in any other way) the softest of the soft.
- Every step she took was as the witch had said it would be, she felt as if treading upon the points of needles or sharp knives; but she bore it willingly, and stepped as lightly by the prince’s side as a soap-bubble, so that he and all who saw her wondered at her graceful-swaying movements.
- The big toe is the most human part of the human body, in the sense that no other element of this body is as differentiated from the corresponding element of the anthropoid ape (chimpanzee, gorilla and orangutan).
- The human foot is commonly subjected to grotesque tortures that deform it and make it rickety. In an imbecilic way it is doomed to corns, calluses, and bunions.
- Man's secret horror of his foot is one of the explanations for the tendency to conceal its length and form as much as possible. Heels of greater or lesser height, depending on the sex, distract from the foot's low and flat character. Besides the uneasiness is often confused with a sexual uneasiness; this is especially striking among the Chinese who, after having atrophied the feet of women, situate them at the most excessive point of deviance. The husband himself must not see the nude feet of his wife, and it is incorrect and immoral in general to look at the feet of women. Catholic confessors, adapting themselves to this aberration, ask their Chinese penitents "if they have not looked at women's feet.
The same aberration is found among the Turks (Volga Turks, Turks of Central Asia), who consider it immoral to show their nude feet and who even go to bed in stockings.
Nothing similar can be cited from classical antiquity (apart from the use of very high soles in tragedies). The most prudish Roman matrons constantly allowed their nude toes to be seen. On the other hand, modesty concerning feet developed excessively in the modern ea and only started to disappear in the nineteenth century. M. Salomon Reinarch has studied this development in detail in the article entitled Pieds pudiques [Modest Feet], insisting on the role of Spain, where women's feet have been the object of most dreaded anxiety and thus were the cause of crimes. The simple fact of allowing the shod foot to be seen, jutting up from under a skirt, was regarded as indecent. Under no circumstances was it possible to touch the foot of a woman.
- Ralph chose the firm strip as a path because he needed to think; and only here could he allow his feet to move without having to watch them. Suddenly, pacing by the water, he was overcome with astonishment. He found himself understanding the wearisomeness of this life, where every path was an improvisation and a considerable part of one's waking life was spent watching one's feet.
- How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings.
- Book of Isaiah 52:7 (King James Version)
- When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him."
- Thou puttest my feet also in the stocks, and lookest narrowly unto all my paths; thou settest a print upon the heels of my feet.
- Book of Job 13:27 (King James version)
- Pies, para qué los quiero
Si tengo alas para volar.
- Feet, what do I need them for
If I have wings to fly.
- Frida Kahlo, Diary illustration dated 1953, preceding a foot amputation in August of that year; reproduced on page 415 of Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera (1983)
- I remember the first time I was sick. I had gone to play with a boy, Luis Léon, and on the patio he threw a wooden log at my foot, and this was the pretext they used at home when my leg began to grow thin. I remember they said that it was a white tumor or paralysis. I missed a lot of school [Frida spent nine months in bed, and and at seven she wore (polio) booties]. I do not remember a lot, but I continued jumping, only not with the right leg anymore. I developed a horrible complex, and I hide my leg. I wore thick wool socks onto the knee, with bandages underneath. This happened when I was seven years old, and my papa and my mama begun to spoil me a lot and to love me more. The foot leaned to the side, and I limped a little. This was during the period when I had my imaginary friend. (9 September 1950)
- Frida Kahlo In: Chapter 'My life', p. 65
- The associative sense of the Russian nozhki (conjuring a pair of small, elegant, high-instepped, slender-ankled lady's feet) is a shade tenderer than the French petits poids; it has not the stodginess of the English 'foot,' large or small, or the mawkishness of the German Fuesschen.
- Vladimir Nabokov, Eugene Onegin: Commentary and Index (1964) p. 115
- All persons who have an atom of taste, or a sense of proportion, will agree that the French women shine in their feet and ankles, and truth compels me to confess that . . . generally speaking, the foot is not an admirable feature of the British female person.
- P. P. "A Word with Blackwood in His Own Way," London Magazine and Review (Mar. 1, 1825) pp. 413-14
- To a Barefoot Boy: Your condition is rather delicate, and it’s because, I am sure, your sandal pinches; new leather, you know, is quite likely to cut into flesh that is tender. That is why Asclepius readily heals wounds received in war and hunting and all such accidents, but neglects these others because of the voluntariness of the action—as due to indiscretion rather than to a god’s capricious malevolence. Why then don’t you walk barefoot? What grudge have you against the earth? Slippers and sandals and top-boots and shoes are for the wearing of invalids or the aged. Philoctetes, at any rate, is pictured in such protective garb—because he was lame and ill. But the philosopher from Sinope and the Theban Crates and Ajax and Achilles are pictured as wearing no shoes, and Jason as wearing but one. For the story goes that, when Jason was crossing the Anaurus River, one boot was caught by the mud and held fast under the stream, and so he had one bare foot—not that he deliberately chose to have, but that chance taught him what was best; and he went his way the victim of a salutary robbery. Let nothing come between the earth and your bare foot. Fear not, the dust will welcome your tread as it would welcome grass, and we shall all kiss your footprints. Ο perfect lines of feet most dearly loved! Ο flowers new and strange! Ο plants sprung from earth! Ο kiss left lying on the ground!
- Philostratus, Letter 18, trans. Benner and Forbes (1949) 451-453.
- The ladies' gowns so well designed;
I love their feet—although you'll find
That all of Russia scarcely numbers
Three pairs of shapely feet... And yet,
How long it took me to forget
Two special feet.
- Diana's breast is charming, brothers,
And Flora's cheek, I quite agree;
But I prefer above these others
The foot of sweet Terpischore.
It hints to probing, ardent glances
of rich rewards and peerless trances;
Its token beauty stokes the fires,
The wilful swarm of hot desires.
My dear Elvina, I adore it—
Beneath the table barely seen,
In springtime on the meadow's green,
In winter with the hearth before it,
Upon the ballroom's mirrored floor,
Or perched on granite by the shore.
- Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, trans. James E. Falen (1990) Ch. 1 Stanza 32
- I recollect the ocean rumbling:
O how I envied then the waves—
Those rushing tides in tumult tumbling
To fall about her feet like slaves!
I longed to join the waves in pressing
Upon those feet these lips... caressing.
- Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, trans. James E. Falen (1990) Ch. 1 Stanza 33
- Another memory finds me ready:
In cherished dreams I sometimes stand
And hold the lucky stirrup steady,
Then feel her foot within my hand!
- Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin, trans. James E. Falen (1990) Ch. 1 Stanza 34
- Why must my pupil be forced always to have a cow's skin under his feet? What harm would there be if in case of need his own skin were able to serve him as a sole? In this part of the body the delicacy of the skin clearly can never be useful for anything and can often do much harm. Awakened at midnight in the heart of winter by the enemy in the city, the Genevans found their muskets before their shoes. If none of them had known how to march barefoot, who knows whether Geneva might not have been taken?
Let us always arm man against unexpected accidents. In morning let Emile run barefoot in all seasons, in his room or on the stairs, in the garden. Far from reproaching him, I shall imitate him.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 286.
- My feet, they haul me Round the House,
They Hoist me up the Stairs;
I only have to steer them, and
They Ride me Everywheres.
- Gelett Burgess, My Feet.
- And the prettiest foot! Oh, if a man could but fasten his eyes to her feet, as they steal in and out, and play at bo-peep under her petticoats!
- William Congreve, Love for Love, Act I, scene 1.
- It is a suggestive idea to track those worn feet backward through all the paths they have trodden ever since they were the tender and rosy little feet of a baby, and (cold as they now are) were kept warm in his mother's hand.
- Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Marble Faun (1860), Volume I, Chapter XXI.
- Better a barefoot than none.
- George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum (1651).
- Her pretty feet
Like snails did creep
A little out, and then,
As if they played at bo-peep
Did soon draw in agen.
- Robert Herrick, Upon her Feet.
- Feet that run on willing errands!
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Song of Hiawatha (1855), Part X. Hiawatha's Wooing, line 33.
- 'Tis all one as if they should make the Standard for the measure, we call a Foot, a Chancellor's Foot; what an uncertain Measure would this be! one Chancellor has a long Foot, another a short Foot, a Third an indifferent Foot. 'Tis the same thing in the Chancellor's Conscience.
- John Selden, Table Talk, Equity.
- Nay, her foot speaks.
- O, so light a foot
Will ne'er wear out the everlasting flint.
- O happy earth,
Whereon thy innocent feet doe ever tread!
- Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589-96), Book I, Canto X, Stanza 9.
- Her feet beneath her petticoat,
Like little mice, stole in and out,
As if they feared the light:
But oh! she dances such a way!
No sun upon an Easter day
Is half so fine a sight.
- Sir John Suckling, Ballad Upon a Wedding, Stanza 8.
- And feet like sunny gems on an English green.
- Alfred Tennyson, Maud; A Monodrama (1855), Part V, Stanza 2.