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“Shingles” Comes from Latin

The painful condition called shingles takes its name from Latin cingulum, meaning belt, because the inflammation often appears as a belt-like band around the torso. The Latin root of cingulum, cingere, meaning to gird, is also the source of cinch, a...

A Rising in My Leader

A Huntsville, Alabama, physical therapist notes that patients with a hamstring cramp will sometimes say “I’ve got a rising in my leader.” Rising is a dialect term for swelling, and leader is a dialect term for tendon or muscle...

Experiential Foafiness

Foafiness, which derives from friend of a friend, is the condition of knowing a lot about someone even though you’ve never actually met, such as when you feel like you know a friend’s spouse or children solely because you’ve read...

New Vocabularies

What event in life introduced you to a whole new vocabulary? Going away to college, having a child, renovating a home, or even getting diagnosed with a medical condition often exposes us to huge bundles of new words. If you’re renovating a...

pencil top

pencil top  n.— «Most commercial companies over-prune palms leaving fronds with a V-shape referred to as a “hurricane cut.” Constant removal of these leaves will result in a condition referred to as “pencil top”...

cubital tunnel syndrome

cubital tunnel syndrome  n.— «Orthopedic specialists around the globe are seeing the worldwide strike of a new condition known as cubital tunnel syndrome (commonly called cell phone elbow) that can potentially cause long-term nerve damage...