The phrase "Tom, Dick, and Harry" is a placeholder for unspecified people.The phrase most commonly occurs as "every Tom, Dick, and Harry", meaning everyone, and "any Tom, Dick, or Harry", meaning anyone, although Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable defines the term to specify "a set of nobodies; persons of no note".
Similar expressions exist in other languages of the world, using commonly used first or last names.The phrase is used in numerous works of fiction.
'Tizio, Caio e Sempronio' has long been used in Italian to describe a generic set of people. The phrase originated in Bologna during the Middle Ages, where a jurist, Irnerio, wrote of ‘Titius et Gaius et Sempronius’, originally Latin names which morphed into the Italian. The phrase is used the same was as Tom, Dick and Harry in English, or 'Pierre, Paul ou Jacques' in French, as a placeholder for a generic set of people.
The precise origin of the phrase in English is unknown. The earliest known citation is from the 17th-century English theologian John Owen who used the phrase in 1657.Owen told a governing body at Oxford University that "our critical situation and our common interests were discussed out of journals and newspapers by every Tom, Dick and Harry." Pairs of common male names, particularly Jack and Tom, Dick and Tom, or Tom and Tib, were often used generically in Elizabethan times. For example, a variation of the phrase can be found in Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1 (1597): "I am sworn brother to a leash of Drawers, and can call them by their names, as Tom, Dicke, and Francis."
The phrase is a rhetorical device known as a tricolon. The most common form of tricolon in English is an ascending tricolon, and as such the names are always said in order of ascending syllable length. Other examples of this gradation include "tall, dark, and handsome", "hook, line, and sinker", "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly", "lock, stock, and barrel"; and so on.
English-speaking medical students use the phrase in memorizing the order of an artery, and a nerve, and the three tendons of the flexor retinaculum in the lower leg: the T, D, A, N and H of Tom, Dick, and Harry correspond to tibialis posterior, flexor digitorum longus, posterior tibial artery, tibial nerve, and flexor hallucis longus.This mnemonic is used to remember the order of the tendons from anterior to posterior at the level of the medial malleolus just posterior to the malleolus.
A variation of this is Tom Dick And Very Nervous Harry. This corresponds to Tibialis, Digitorum, Artery, Vein, (tibial)Nerve, Hallucis.[ citation needed ]
Tom, Dick and Harry is widely used, so it is beyond the scope of this article to list every passing mention. However, some notable instances include:
The foot is an anatomical structure found in many vertebrates. It is 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 and/or nails.
The leg is the entire lower limb of the human body, including the foot, thigh or sometimes even the hip or buttock region. The major bones of the leg are the femur, tibia, and adjacent fibula. The thigh is between the hip and knee, while the calf (rear) and shin (front) are between the knee and foot.
In human anatomy, the fibularis longus is a superficial muscle in the lateral compartment of the leg. It acts to tilt the sole of the foot away from the midline of the body (eversion) and to extend the foot downward away from the body at the ankle.
The tibia, also known as the shinbone or shankbone, is the larger, stronger, and anterior (frontal) of the two bones in the leg below the knee in vertebrates ; it connects the knee with the ankle. The tibia is found on the medial side of the leg next to the fibula and closer to the median plane. The tibia is connected to the fibula by the interosseous membrane of leg, forming a type of fibrous joint called a syndesmosis with very little movement. The tibia is named for the flute tibia. It is the second largest bone in the human body, after the femur. The leg bones are the strongest long bones as they support the rest of the body.
The fibula or calf bone is a leg bone on the lateral side of the tibia, to which it is connected above and below. It is the smaller of the two bones and, in proportion to its length, the most slender of all the long bones. Its upper extremity is small, placed toward the back of the head of the tibia, below the knee joint and excluded from the formation of this joint. Its lower extremity inclines a little forward, so as to be on a plane anterior to that of the upper end; it projects below the tibia and forms the lateral part of the ankle joint.
The ankle, the talocrural region or the jumping bone (informal) is the area where the foot and the leg meet. The ankle includes three joints: the ankle joint proper or talocrural joint, the subtalar joint, and the inferior tibiofibular joint. The movements produced at this joint are dorsiflexion and plantarflexion of the foot. In common usage, the term ankle refers exclusively to the ankle region. In medical terminology, "ankle" can refer broadly to the region or specifically to the talocrural joint.
The extensor hallucis longus muscle is a thin skeletal muscle, situated between the tibialis anterior and the extensor digitorum longus. It extends the big toe and dorsiflects the foot. It also assists with foot eversion and inversion.
The tibial nerve is a branch of the sciatic nerve. The tibial nerve passes through the popliteal fossa to pass below the arch of soleus.
The flexor hallucis longus muscle (FHL) attaches to the plantar surface of phalanx of the great toe and is responsible for flexing that toe. The FHL is one of the three deep muscles of the posterior compartment of the leg, the others being the flexor digitorum longus and the tibialis posterior. The tibialis posterior is the most powerful of these deep muscles. All three muscles are innervated by the tibial nerve which comprises half of the sciatic nerve.
The flexor digitorum longus muscle is situated on the tibial side of the leg. At its origin it is thin and pointed, but it gradually increases in size as it descends. It serves to flex the second, third, fourth, and fifth toes.
The deep fibular nerve begins at the bifurcation of the common fibular nerve between the fibula and upper part of the fibularis longus, passes infero-medially, deep to the extensor digitorum longus, to the anterior surface of the interosseous membrane, and comes into relation with the anterior tibial artery above the middle of the leg; it then descends with the artery to the front of the ankle-joint, where it divides into a lateral and a medial terminal branch.
The sole is the bottom of the foot.
The flexor retinaculum of foot is a strong fibrous band in the foot.
The deltoid ligament is a strong, flat, triangular band, attached, above, to the apex and anterior and posterior borders of the medial malleolus. The deltoid ligament supports the ankle joint and also resists excessive eversion of the foot. The deltoid ligament is composed of 4 fibers:
The interosseous membrane of the leg extends between the interosseous crests of the tibia and fibula, helps stabilize the Tib-Fib relationship and separates the muscles on the front from those on the back of the leg.
A malleolus is the bony prominence on each side of the human ankle.
The tarsal tunnel is a passage found along the inner leg underneath the medial malleolus of the ankle.
A neurovascular bundle is a structure that binds nerves and veins with connective tissue so that they travel in tandem through the body.
The mucous sheaths of the tendons around the ankle protect tendons in the ankle. All the tendons crossing the ankle-joint are enclosed for part of their length in mucous sheaths which have an almost uniform length of about 8 cm. each.