Vocabulary 11 - Medical Compound Words
The human body is described using dozens of words and everything from head to toe is given a name. To describe the various parts of the head we have words such as hair, scalp, eye, EYELASH, skull, nose, FOREHEAD, teeth, ear
To describe parts of the midsection we have more words, such as heart, chest, thorax, BREASTBONE, rib, stomach, HEARTBEAT, kidney, liver
To describe arms and limbs we have even more words, such as elbow, bicep, FOREARM, wrist, leg, ankle, toe, TOENAIL, knee, shin
From looking at what is written above we notice that some words are written in capitals. Could you guess the significance of these words? Your answer would be correct if you guessed that the words are compound words.
EYELASH is a compound word formed from EYE and LASH. FOREHEAD is a compound word formed from FORE and HEAD. Similarly, the other compound words are formed from two smaller words.
Compound words have a very simple structure. The two words are placed side by side to form the new word. Once the word has been formed the order of the word cannot be interchanged. For instance, BREASTBONE will always be BREASTBONE and never BONEBREAST.
Compound words can be formed by words belonging to any category of words and the new word may or may not have meanings related to the words used. Though different parts of the body have unique names which are root words (or base words) we require new words to describe some parts or processes of the body and such words are usually compound words formed from two other words.
The quiz that follows tests you on your understanding of compound words that are medical terms and words used to describe the anatomy.