Medical Meanings: A Glossary of Word Origins / Edition 2

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Overview

Dr. William S. Haubrich's curiosity knows no bounds, nor does that of his readers. The overwhelming demand for more histories of yet more words is satisfied in the eagerly awaited second edition of Medical Meanings: A Glossary of Word Origins. Here the reader will find not just etymology and explanations of medical terminology but lessons in history and popular culture. They will learn what really ailed John Merrick, a.k.a., the Elephant Man; what odd deformity plagued the House of Hapsburg, rulers of Spain from 1493 to 1780; and what the connection is between fetal alcohol syndrome and Little Orphan Annie. Charming, witty, and a rollicking learning experience, the second edition of Medical Meanings is fully updated and revised to include over thirty percent more of the definitions, histories, and amusing.

The book contains no figures.

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Editorial Reviews

James Shedlock
This book provides explanations of the origin of common medical terms. The current edition is based on a 1984 work by a different publisher. The work "fills gaps in medical source material, covering somewhat different ground in a currently relevant way." This book serves as a medical reference tool for those interested in word origins. As such, it complements information typically found in standard medical dictionaries by detailing the specifics of a word's meaning in relation to its origin, especially the word's current usage. Such background information better explains the nature of the term and, in some cases, its meaning over time. No specific audience is identified, but presumably this book will be used and appreciated by scholars as well as the curious. It could be used by the lay person to begin grasping the meaning of a diagnosis or condition. The author uses a traditional alphabetic arrangement in listing the terms. An introduction provides some background for using the book and understanding features in the explanations (e.g., boldface for terms explained within the entry and italics for terms of non-English origin). The book satisfies the need for more background information about a specific medical term for the scholar or the curious. However, only the most common, everyday terms are entered in the glossary, so the book is not absolutely comprehensive. This work complements other medical reference tools.
Library Journal
Originally published in 1984, this etymology of over 2000 medical terms has been heavily revised for its first edition with a new publisher. Each entry consists of a 50- to 100-word description, usually tracing the term to its old English, Latin, or Greek root. Dates are rarely given for the etymologies, so the reader does not know when or where the term was actually coined. Since definitions of the terms are not included, a general reader may need to use this book in conjunction with a standard medical source such as Stedman's Medical Dictionary (Williams & Wilkins, 1995. 26th ed.). Written by a physician fascinated with words rather than by a lexicographer, this book is very interesting but not vital to any collection; Henry Skinner's Origin of Medical Terms (1961. o.p.) is still a better source.Eric D. Albright, Galter Health Sciences Lib., Northwestern Univ., Chicago
Booknews
Explores the etymologies of some 3,000 medical and related terms, commenting on past and present usage of Greek, Latin, and English biomedical terms as well as terms borrowed from other languages. For word buffs and anyone interested in the vocabulary of medicine. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: James Shedlock, AMLS (Northwestern University)
Description: This book provides explanations of the origin of common medical terms. The current edition is based on a 1984 work by a different publisher. The work "fills gaps in medical source material, covering somewhat different ground in a currently relevant way."
Purpose: This book serves as a medical reference tool for those interested in word origins. As such, it complements information typically found in standard medical dictionaries by detailing the specifics of a word's meaning in relation to its origin, especially the word's current usage. Such background information better explains the nature of the term and, in some cases, its meaning over time.
Audience: No specific audience is identified, but presumably this book will be used and appreciated by scholars as well as the curious. It could be used by the lay person to begin grasping the meaning of a diagnosis or condition.
Features: The author uses a traditional alphabetic arrangement in listing the terms. An introduction provides some background for using the book and understanding features in the explanations (e.g., boldface for terms explained within the entry and italics for terms of non-English origin).
Assessment: The book satisfies the need for more background information about a specific medical term for the scholar or the curious. However, only the most common, everyday terms are entered in the glossary, so the book is not absolutely comprehensive. This work complements other medical reference tools.

2 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781930513495
  • Publisher: American College of Physicians
  • Publication date: 11/1/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 267
  • Sales rank: 1,067,022
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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