What’s That Called? – Dictionary of Ear Piercings

Ever see a neat or interesting piercing and have to say to yourself, “wow, I wonder what that’s called?”  Well wonder no more!  I’ve compiled a fairly comprehensive list of as many piercings as I could find and what they’re called, and here it is:

We’ll start this time with the ear piercings, because there’s just an absolute ton of cool and interesting ones.

All Different Kinds of Ear Piercings

Ear Lobe Piercing – a regular single piercing through the lobe of the ear.

Ear Lobe Piercing

Horizontal Lobe Piercing (also called Transverse Lobe Piercing) – a piercing through the length of the lobe that lays horizontal.

Horizontal Ear Lobe Piercing

Tragus Piercing – a piercing of the little fleshy nub that covers the ear canal.

Lobe Piercing and Tragus Piercing

Anti-tragus Piercing – a piercing of the fleshy nub that protrudes from the ear rim just across from the tragus.

Ear Piercing of the Anti-Tragus

Conch – a piercing of the hollow or plane of the ear.  (Sometimes this is separated into outer conch and inner conch piercings, so named for which side of the flat portion of the ear they rest on as the two sides are separated by a ridge.)

Inner Ear piercing - Conch

Snug –  a piercing of the inner rim of the ear.

Snug Ear Piercing

Rook – a piercing of the inner rim where it meets the outer rim at the top inside edge of the ear.

Rook Ear Piercing

Orbital – a set of two piercings close together connected with a ring.  (although orbitals can be done in many places, the most common is just inside the outer ear rim.)

Orbit or Obital Ear Piercing

Helix (also called “cartilage piercing“) – any piercing of the outer ear rim itself.

Helix or Upper Cartilage Ear Piercing

Daith – a piercing of the fold of cartilage where the outer rim of the ear meets the face.

Daith Ear Piercing

Industrial (also called scaffold piercing) – any set of two piercings of the outer rim or “helix” of the ear that are connected by a single piece of barbell jewelry.  (There is also a vertical industrial, which is what this piercing is called when it is done completely vertically, usually at the outside edge of the ear or through the middle.)

Industrial or Scaffold Ear Piercings

Stay tuned for next time when I’ll be going over the names and placements of all the facial piercings!


  1. Zbigniew Grabowski says:

    Earlobe piercings – simply, classy and extremely hot :)

  2. While it is largely considered the same basic portion of cartilage; the picture you have is more commonly considered a Forward Helix piercing. Subsequently; the Daith is the portion of that piece that resides below the rook.

  3. What is the piercing called in the ‘conch’ picture, the open circle in the lobe?

  4. Hi Laura,

    That’s referred to as stretching your lobes.

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