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Re: The bone with no name [HAPP-L]



According to p 122 of Medical Meanings: A glossary of word origins by William Haubrich:

" innominate is a near borrowing of the Latin 'innominatus', literally 'without a name'. The innominate artery was described by Galen, but he gave it no name. Later, Vesalius simply called it the 'unnamed artery.' The pelvis is made up of three bones: the ilium, the ischium, and the pubis. Each of the three components was named, but the whole structure was not, and so Galen referred it it as the 'innominate' or unnamed bone. Actually, Celsus did call it the 'os coxae, 'the bone of the hips'.


My students often enjoy asking the origin of terms and it is fun to pull out Haubrich.


Does anyone know the history behind the name "innominate bone" for the os coxae? It's such an oddly self-contradictory term!

Ken


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Claire R. Oakley, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
Rocky Mountain College
1511 Poly Dr.
Billings, MT 59102
406-657-1089

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