Category Archives: Anatomic Derivatives

Lecture 10 – Final Set of Derivatives


Prefix/Suffix                                        Origin                                     Example

Ultra-                                                   L, beyond                                ultrastructure- the close detail of any cell, with all organelles visible that can be seen with an electron microscope.

Vagina –                                               L, sheath, sleeve, scabbard      vagina – a fibromuscular tubular tract leading from the uterus to the exterior of the body  in female placental mammals.  Often used incorrectly by the general public to describe the vulva or external genitalia, however, the vagina cannot be seen with a casual look.  It is an internal structure.  Anatomically, the female pelvis is my area of research and concentration.  We will discuss the differences between the male and female pelvis in subsequent lectures.

Vas-                                                     L, duct, vessel                          vas deferens – ‘carrying away vessel’ – also called the ductus deferens.  A part of the male anatomy of many vertebrates, these ducts carry the sperm from the epididymis in anticipation of ejaculation.  There are two ducts connecting the left and right epididymis, to the ejaculatory ducts in order to move sperm.  Each duct is about 30 centimeters long in humans and is surrounded by smooth muscle.

Vent- (ventr-)                                       L, belly from Latin venter, which means adbomen                                                                                                                              ventral – on the belly side on a whale or dolphin.  Pertaining to the front or anterior side in a human.  Example – Ventral root ganglion – (to be discussed when we discuss nerves)

Versio-                                                 L, a turning                              anteversion of the uterusa retroverted uterus, or one that is directed ventrally.  Also called a tilted uterus.  This tilting can be in various degrees.

We have many more prefixes and suffixes to explore.  The next set will include as many as 100 terms, but will be in a succinct, list type of format.  Continue to review these terms on a daily basis and make them a part of your routine discussions.  I am very happy that we can spend this time exploring our anatomy.  Your anatomical parts will be with you forever, unless you decide to share them at your demise.  (We will have the conversation about body part donation and transplants at another time.)

We have so much work to do.  I hope you love anatomy as much as I do.  Next time we will delve deeply into our bones, and do a quick review of the metric system.  Once we are done, you never have to be afraid of the metric system!  It is nice to hear from lawyers who are in medical school, and factory workers who are in nursing school.  I applaud you all for following your dreams no matter what your age.  Welcome to the field!  We need people who have a fresh, new perspective.  Many of us have never worked in any other industry, and sometimes share the same points of reference.  Have fun and do extremely well in your science courses.  

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Lecture 9 – Anatomic Deritaves


Lecture #9

Prefix/Suffix                            Meaning/Derivation                           Example

-oid –                                        G, appearance                                      glenoid – glenmeans socket (review); oid – having the appearance of.  Put them together – appears like a socket.  Remember the ball and socket joint of the shoulder.  Re-read past lectures so our puzzle can come together.

Omo-                                       G, scapula, shoulder                            omohyoid – a muscle at the front of the neck that consists of two bellies separated by an intermediate tendon.  This name gives a huge clue.  One end of the muscle attaches at the shoulder and the other attaches at the hyoid bone.  The more words or parts of words you know, the better student and professional you will become.  Omo- comes from the Greek word ‘omos’ which means shoulder.  I hope you are very comfortable with medical terms by now.  Some can be big, but your knowledge is becoming bigger than any word you cannot pronounce.

-otomy                                     G, to open                                            craniotomy– a surgical procedure that opens the cranium (the brain’s housing).

Para-                                        G, beside                                             paravertebral- beside the vertebra.  This adjective can be used to describe nerves, tumors, punctures, injuries, etc.  Knowing grammar helps also!  Remember to use every honest angle you have.  Sometimes simply knowing the part of speech a word can help get the correct answer on a test.  One word can change the meaning of a question or response.  (Paralegals work beside attorneys, doing research and other technical legal work.)

Super-                                      L, over                                                 superficial – superficial veins can be felt and sometimes seen, through the skin.  The word superficial describes and is thus an adjective.  Superficial wounds are on the skin or immediately beneath it.  Another usage is shallow, such as polite conversations about the weather.  I like to get to know people deeply.  The idea is that if you know a person’s challenges and triumphs, you might get to know the true person.  I hope you have a few relationships that move beyond the superficial.  (Have fun while you learn.)

Supra-                                      L, above                                              supraorbital- orbital has to do with the eye.  Supraorbital is above the eye; Infraorbital – beneath the eye.

Sym-                                        G, growing together                             symphises – the uniting of bones by a layer of cartilage.  (Example- Pubic symphises)  Syn- also means together, as in synergy.

Teres                                        L, round                                              ligamentum teres uteri           (noun) – this ligament is attached to the uterus on either side in front of and below the opening of the Fallopian tube, and passing through the inguinal canal to the labia majora.  (Also called round ligament of the uterus.)

Trans-                                      L, across                                              transfusion – Break it down – across and bringing together?  Of course we have all heard of blood transfusions.  But if you had never heard of it, you can break the word into parts.  A transfusion is a process in which whole blood or blood components are taken from one person and delivered intravenously to another person.  We will discuss transfusions in detail during the series on blood.

Tome-                                      G, cutting                                             dermatome – an instrument used for cutting thin slices of skin

Tuber-                                      L, swelling                                           tubercle – a round nodule on a bone.  (We have seen this in detail on a previous lecture.)

Lecture 10 will consist of the final five prefixes or suffixes.  There are many more to cover, but with the 80 that we have covered so far, I feel comfortable picking up the pace.  You are no longer a novice.  You should feel comfortable having an anatomical discussion with anyone.

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