Relevance of the Term Humor in Terminologia Anatomica

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Laura García-Orozco; Jhonatan Duque-Colorado; Josefa Alarcón-Apablaza; José Villanueva-Rickemberg & Mariano del Sol


During the Renaissance era there were multiple translations from Greek into Latin. The Latin translators who carried out these translations often times did not grasp the basic semantics of words, which in turn led to errors or variations of their meaning. This set a precedent to discuss the relevance of some current Latin anatomical terms in Terminologia Anatomica, such as the aqueous humor and the vitreous humor. In this sense, the objective of this study was to analyze the etymology of the term humor in order to evaluate the coherence between its lexical and morphological relationship. The Latinized word umor derives from the Greek χυμóς, which was used in Ancient Greece by the physicians Hippocrates and Galen, to refer specifically to the four humors of which a human being was composed (blood, yellow bile, black bile and phlegm) in relation to health, disease and temperament. Following the translation however, and among other meanings, the term was used to indicate each one of the fluids in a living organism. Thus, it was concluded that when executing the translation of the term in question, its original meaning was not considered, and therefore it was inaccurately generalized. This, in turn, resulted in the etymology of the term not being correlated with its lexical meaning and respective morphological relationship.

KEY WORDS: Humour; Fluent; Hippocratic me- dicine; Terminologia Anatomica.

How to cite this article

GARCÍA-OROZCO, L.; DUQUE-COLORADO, J.; ALARCÓN-APABLAZA, J.; VILLANUEVA- RICKEMBERG, J. & DEL SOL, M. Relevance of the term humor in Terminologia Anatomica. Int. J. Morphol., 41(2):501-504, 2023.