# What is a table/list/overview/... of an edge or thumb index?

There is the "Table of Contents" and the "List of Figures (Tables, Symbols, Abbreviations,...)". What is the denomination for a table/list/overview/... of an edge index? Is it the same phrase for a thumb index? Two examples for such a table/list/overview/...:

• I find this question a bit confusing; I'm not exactly sure what you're asking. Do you think you can edit to clarify? Maybe then I can provide an answer, or at least upvote to get more attention from someone who can answer. :) Feb 10 '13 at 23:13
• @WendiKidd: I would like to know whether the things depicted are called "Table of Edge Index" or "List of Edge Index" or "Overview of Edge Index" or something else. Maybe it is even "bleed index" instead of "edge index", but the question of "table" vs. "list" vs. "overview" vs. ... remains. Feb 11 '13 at 20:27
• Aha, I get it! It might help to add that to your question. Give me a few minutes, I'll post an answer shortly :) Feb 11 '13 at 21:58

## 1 Answer

The short answer is, it is called none of those things. An edge index is not quite the same thing as your other examples (Table of Contents and List of Figures).

Take a Table of Contents for example.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1.....page 1

Chapter 2.....page 15

Chapter 3.....page 32

This is called a Table of Contents because it graphically looks like a table, and it displays contents. Therefore it is a table (in the graphical/mathematical definition of the word) which contains contents. A simplified way to describe a table which contains contents is a Table of Contents.

This is slightly different than an Edge Index. Mirriam Webster's definition 2A for "index" defines it as:

a list of items (as topics or names) treated in a printed work that gives for each item the page number where it may be found

Now, that means that by calling something an "index" we have already established that it is a list. Anything which is an index does not also need to be called a list or a table; the fact that it is a list is implied by the word "index".

In the specific case of an Edge Index, it is an index (a type of list) which appears on the edge of a book. Edge is just an extra adjective to describe the index, which we already know to be a type of list. So it does not need to also be called a table or list; it is an index. The words Edge Index speak for themselves.

• Slapping my head. You are perfectly right! The index appearing in the frontmatter (in contrast to "normal" indexes appearing in the backmatter) confused me. +1, accepted, and Thank you! (Well, I'm an ELL, therefore it is good to have a place to ask things like this.) Feb 12 '13 at 21:38
• @Stephen No problem, glad I could help! I hope you'll continue to use the site and gain a lot from it :) I know I'm having fun! Feb 12 '13 at 22:03