Greek Tidbits in Medical Terms
Part of the Medical Terminology For Dummies Cheat Sheet
Most common medical terms used today are derived from Latin or Greek. After all, the Greeks were the founders of modern medicine. Examples of medical terminology used today based on the Greek language are
The word semantics is derived from the Greek semantikos, meaning significant.
Coccyx comes from the Greek word for cuckoo -- it resembles a cuckoo’s beak.
Remember: myo (muscle) is not to be confused with myelo (bone marrow).
Diaphoresis comes from the Greek dia meaning through and phoreo meaning I carry. Translated, it means the carrying through of perspiration.
Glaucoma: Greek glaukos means blue-grey, and oma means a condition. In glaucoma, gray color replaces the black pupil.
Both Latin and Greek play a role in the roots of the word for heart, cardium. This word stems from the Greek word kardia.
Adenoid comes from the Greek aden, meaning gland, and cidos, meaning like. The term was once used for the prostate gland.
Pancreas is so named because of its fleshy appearance. Greek pan means all, and krea means flesh.
Endocrine: Take endo and add it to the Greek krinein, which means to separate.
Paraplegia: The Greek para means beside, and plegia means paralysis.
The Greek word pyelos means tub-shaped vessel, which describes the shape of the kidney.
Venereal is derived from Venus, the goddess of love. It was thought in ancient times to be one of the misfortunes of love.