The origin of bone words


Comes from a Latin word meaning a correct mixture or balance in the sense of tempering a metal. It later came to mean a mental balance. It is related to the word temper which we have come to associate with its negative sense, i.e. to lose one's temper.

Sphenoid: Many bones are named for their shape like this one which comes from the Greek sphēnoeidēs meaning wedge-like.

Orbit: The Latin word orbis had the meaning of round or spherical and referred to the shape of the eye sockets.

Nasal: Latin nasus meaning nose.

Nasal concha: Concha is the latin word for a shell or mollusk.

Vomer: This word means ploughshare or stylus in Latin and the bone is so named for its shape.

Lacrimal/Lacrymal: This bone, located in the eye socket, gets its name from the Latin word for tear, lacrima.

Ethmoid: From the Greek word ēthmos meaning sieve.