Discover the Fascinating Greek Origins of Medical Terminology

Grayson Larkspur

Updated Monday, June 24, 2024 at 12:00 AM CDT

Unveil the hidden connections between everyday Greek words and complex medical terminology in English and other European languages. Greek, a cornerstone of scientific language, simplifies learning for students and professionals alike by bridging high-register medical terms with common parlance.

One intriguing example is the Greek phrase "έχω όρεξη να κάνω κάτι," which translates to "I have appetite to do something." Here, "όρεξη" means appetite, a term familiar in medical contexts as well. The word "anorexic" is derived from the Greek "όρεξη," meaning without appetite. This linguistic connection is just one of many that make Greek an invaluable tool for understanding medical jargon.

In the video, the speaker humorously points out how dyspraxia, a term often associated with a motor disorder, literally means "doing nothing." This revelation underscores how Greek roots simplify the comprehension of complex medical terms.

User reactions highlight the educational value of learning ancient Greek and Latin. One user noted that these languages were staples of education because they provide a solid foundation for understanding scientific terminology. Another user, a Spanish speaker, remarked on the surprising simplicity of Latin expressions that often sound fancy in English but are everyday terms in Spanish.

The video also sparked humorous observations, such as imagining a Tamarian doctor effortlessly understanding medical terms and a user joking about the video's jump cuts causing motion sickness. These light-hearted comments add a touch of levity to the fascinating insights shared.

A standout comment mentioned the fascinating class on Greek and Latin prefixes, suffixes, and roots, which inspired a career in linguistics. Another user humorously mistook "detect" for "defecate," showcasing the playful side of language learning.

In addition, users discussed the intuitive nature of using common English words for medical terms. One example highlighted was "thigh bone" being more universally understood than "femur," emphasizing the importance of clear communication in medicine.

Dive into the world of Greek etymology and discover how it simplifies the learning of medical terminology while providing fascinating insights into the language's everyday use. Whether you're a language enthusiast or a medical professional, the connections between Greek and medical language will leave you captivated.

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View source: Imgur

Top Comments from Imgur


Greek doctors have so much less to learn.


as a spanish speaker, guys, your mind is going to explode when you learn that so many latin expressions you use to sound fancy are basically just normal words for us...


This is why learning ancient Greek and Latin were staples of education for so long. Not because people expected to speak them, but because by learning them, you gain an immense level of proficiency in scientific terminology that uses them and also learn a lot of the foundations of modern European languages.


This is filled with fluids. I mean... humorous.


These jump cut videos give me motion sickness


Imagine being a Tamarian doctor, it'd be so easy. "Carnok, when the appendix burst.!"


Ya know, I never thought about the word "maybe" until seeing the Norwegian equivalent, kansje, literally "can happen". Then it clicked for me, oh yah, "can happen" is really just the same as "may [come to] be"... "may-be"... duh! Or I dunno, maybe I'm just slow.


Is there more?


I loved my years of Greek in college


That's good praxis

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