Advertisement

Medical Words and Phrases

  • Robert B. Taylor
Chapter

Abstract

Some people collect coins or postage stamps. Others collect Depression-era glass dishes or old guns. I collect words. My bookshelves at home groan from the weight of word origin books, and I advise young medical students to look up the source of each new word they encounter. My fascination with words began with the encouragement of my high school Latin teacher, Miss Irwin, and continued into college, where I began to keep notebooks of new words and—just as important—their origins. When I entered medical school, I was delighted to find a whole new world of medical terms, most of sufficiently recent coinage that the origin of a term could be traced. For me, some medical terms have remarkably absorbing histories. This chapter tells some of those tales.

Keywords

Greek Word Scrub Typhus Ulnar Collateral Ligament Latin Word Proteus Syndrome 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Train J. Remarkable Words with Astonishing Origins. New York, NY: Charles N. Potter, Inc.; 1980:9.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Butler RF. Sources of the medical vocabulary. J Med Educ. 1980;55:128–129.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Taylor RB. Please don’t call me ‘provider.’ Am Fam Physician. 2001;63:2340–2342.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Entamoeba histolytica entry. Family Practice Notebook Web site. Available at: http://www.fpnotebook.com/GI99.htm. Accessed August 5, 2006.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Dahl W, Matthews K, Midthun J, Sapin P. “Musher’s knee” and “hooker’s elbow” in the Arctic. N Engl J Med. 1981;304:737.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Jamieson HC. Men and books; catechism in medical history. Can Med Assn J. 1943;48:148.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    “Mad as a hatter” entry. Urban legends reference pages. Available at: http:// www.snopes.com/language/phrases/hatter.htm. Accessed August 5, 2006.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    MedTerms Medical Dictionary: medical dictionary of popular medical terms. Available at: http://www.medterms.com. Accessed August 6, 2006.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bollet AJ. Medical history in medical terminology, part 2. Resid Staff Physician. 1999;45:60–63.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    “Condom” entry. Web site of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condom. Accessed May 7, 2007.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert B. Taylor
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Family Medicine School of MedicineOregon Health & Sciences UniversityPortlandUSA

Personalised recommendations