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.
KeywordsGreek Word Scrub Typhus Ulnar Collateral Ligament Latin Word Proteus Syndrome
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