When you explore the origins of certain words it can sometimes reveal new meaning and understanding. That’s especially true with some of the words used in the realm of health care.
Acute – from the Latin adjective acutus, meaning “sharp or pointed.”
Chiropractic – from the Greek cheir “hand” combined with praktikos “fit for doing.” Or more simply, “done by hand.”
Disease – from the Old French desaise, a combination of des “away from” and aise “ease.” Thus disease is a loss of ease.
Doctor – from the Latin verb docere, meaning “to teach.”
Muscle – from the Latin musculus, “a little mouse.” The Romans thought of the movement of muscles under the skin as the scurrying of mice!
Pain – from the Latin poena, “a penalty or punishment.”
Spine – from the Latin spina, “a thorn or a prickly bush.” Romans saw the many protuberances on the back and sides of the vertebrae as thorns.
Vaccine – from the Latin vacca, “a cow” and the name of a viral disease of cattle called cowpox.