Posts tagged Anatomy word of the month

Anatomy word of the month: hippocampus

The “sea horse” is a structure buried deep within each hemisphere of the brain. This term is more descriptive of the imagination of anatomists rather than its function. In a cross section of the cerebral hemisphere the hippocampus looks something like its namesake. The hippocampus is important in short-term memory formation. Patients who have damage […]

— Bill Dyche

Anatomy word of the month: pes anserinus

Did you know you had a “goose foot” on the inner side of your knees? Those imaginative, ancient anatomists envisioned that the three muscles that come together on the medial surface of the knee looked like the three-toed foot of a goose. Each of the three muscles, in turn, has interesting meanings. Semitendinosus is quite […]

— Bill Dyche

Anatomy word of the month: philtrum

Why would that dimple under your nose be called a “love potion”? In ancient times when people did not bath regularly, ladies placed a drop of perfume between the two raised ridges of their upper lip. It was intended to disguise both their own smell and that of their lovers. These two ridges on either […]

— Bill Dyche

Anatomy word of the month: fornix

Deep within each cerebral hemisphere is an arch of nerve fibers that is aptly named the fornix which means an arch, a vaulted ceiling, a brothel. A brothel? Although the fornix is a part of the brain, the limbic system, dealing with strong emotions such as rage, fear and sexual arousal, the anatomical term is […]

— Bill Dyche

Anatomy word of the month: mastoid

Would you believe that the name for the little bony prominence behind your ear means “like a breast” referring to its shape? The name was more familiar to the public before the advent of antibiotics as mastoiditis. Inflammation in this area can erode through the bone into the cranium and become meningitis (inflammation of the […]

— Bill Dyche

Anatomy word of the month: pudendal nerve

Pudendal comes from a Latin word meaning, “to be ashamed”. Interesting that this term is an archaic reference to the external genitalia. Obviously, the association of “shame” to “private parts”, those areas that should be hidden from view whether with a fig leaf or clothing, stems from ancient times. However, the term is still used […]

— Bill Dyche