Questions tagged [etymology]

This tag is for questions about the origin and history of word form and meaning. The [terminology] tag should be used when asking strictly about the meaning or usage of a term. The [nomenclature] tag should be used when simply asking about the naming of species and not the origin of those names.

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13 votes
5 answers

Why is the opposite of plantar flexion called "dorsiflexion"?

Why is the action of flexing the foot so that the toes move anteriorly/superiorly (i.e. in the direction opposite that which they move during plantar flexion) described as "dorsiflexion?" In the same ...
  • 241
4 votes
2 answers

Why is the prefrontal cortex called such?

Pre means before. Frontal means front. What does cortex means? Brain? Is it the front most part of the brain? Is it located at the most frontal part of the brain and that's why it's called ...
  • 1,219
3 votes
1 answer

What do the names of Immunoglobulin subtypes mean?

What is the exact meaning and full form of IgM, IgG, IgA, etc? What is the rationale behind the names of the isotypes, if there is one? For example, what does "M" mean in IgM?
  • 369
14 votes
2 answers

Are 'homeothermic' and 'endothermic' synonymous?

I got this question from the comments below this answer. So, do homeothermic and poikilothermic have the same meaning as endothermic and ectothermic, respectively? A user also suggested that the ...
  • 3,269
10 votes
2 answers

Acknowledging differentiation of species, in historical times

This is at least partly an historical question, and I am not even remotely a biologist of any sort, so apologies beforehand if it's a little obscure. I often wonder how many distinctions were made in ...
  • 207
6 votes
3 answers

Origin of term ‘confluency’ in cell culture

Since as long as I have been doing cell culture, the word confluency has been used to describe the percentage growth of cells or area covered by them. However, no dictionary that I have found uses ...
  • 3,675