‘Capillary’ comes from the Latin ‘capillaris’ – “relating to the hair or any structure as fine as a hair”. Early anatomists thought capillaries looked hair-like. Capillary diameters are actually smaller than hair. Red blood cells can only travel through them one at a time.
‘COCCYX’ comes from the Greek word ‘kokkyx’, meaning “cuckoo”. The coccyx was thought to resemble a cuckoo’s beak.
Knee Plates? The term ‘patella’ comes from Latin and means ‘little plate.’ Early anatomists felt the patella (or ‘kneecap’) looked like a small dish. View more anatomical terms with interesting origins.