Septum or “Tabique”? Historical, Etymological and Proposal Analysis for International Anatomical Terminology (TAI)

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Francisco Pérez-Rojas; Lukas A. Canales-Guzmán; Catalina Chirino-Letelier & Ricardo S. Puebla-Wuth


The growing interest in reconciling a common anatomical terminology makes it imperative to establish a universal language over time, and focus this objective on a systematic work, which allows to properly define and name the structures that make up the human body (Álvarez Guisbert & Campohermoso Rodríguez, 2007). In the morphological sciences, the TAI establishes that the terms to name anatomical structures, use Latin and common terms of the Spanish language derived from a Latin root as the official language. In this work it is noted that a series of anatomical structures that in Spanish have been assigned with the name «tabique», do not correspond etymologically with the Latin root of the word with which they were originally named: Septum. We show that the word Septum is translated into Spanish literally as a septum, while the word «tabique» comes from a root of Arabic origin tasbík; and, therefore, it is not a term that complies with the TAI guidelines. Here we realize, according to an etymological and historical analysis of both words, that these became synonyms over time in the Spanish language. Even so, respecting TAI, the term «tabique» is not appropriate since its linguistic root is Arabic; and, therefore, we suggest changing the translation of Septum by «septo» into the anatomical structures reported in this research.

KEY WORDS: Terminologia Anatomica; Septum.

How to cite this article

PÉREZ-ROJAS, F.; CANALES-GUZMÁN, L. A.; CHIRINO-LETELIER, C. & PUEBLA-WUTH, R. S. Septum or “tabique”? Historical, etymological and proposal analysis for international anatomical terminology (TAI). Int. J. Morphol., 37(2):766-772, 2019.