If an operator operates, why doesn’t a surgeon surge? The word surgeon comes from ancient Greek cheir, which means “hand,” and ergon, “work,” surgery being a kind of medical treatment done by hand, rather than the work of drugs. These Greek roots are more obvious in the archaic English word for “surgeon,” chirurgeon. The word operate comes from the Latin word for “work,” the same root of opera, literally “a work,” and modus operandi, literally “mode of working.” This is part of a complete episode.

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