I did not know this:

The names `big-endian’ and `little-endian’ are comic references to the classic “Gulliver’s Travels” (via the paper “On Holy Wars and a Plea for Peace” by Danny Cohen, USC/ISI IEN 137, April 1, 1980) and the egg-eating habits of the Lilliputians.

From the perlfunc man page discussion of the pack() function.

Endian-ness is one of those esoteric (or not) computer subjects that makes the internet work (or not). Basically, do you (or more accurately, your computer) count from left-to-right, or right-to-left. Little endian is left-to-right (1234) and big-endian right-to-left (4321).