May 1959

The Story Behind the Word.

Author Affiliations

By Harry Wain, A.A., B.S.M., M.D., M.S.P.H. Price, $8.50. Pp. 340, with no illustrations. Charles C Thomas, Publisher, 301-327 E. Lawrence Ave., Springfield, Ill., 1958.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1959;103(5):842. doi:10.1001/archinte.1959.00270050164028

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The fascination words hold is never-ending. The fascination of medical words for a physician has been the theme of many a discourse, paper, and book. Wain turned his hobby of collecting lore about medical terms into a full-time effort. He has selected from almost innumerable medical terms those of particular interest, to tell us something of their derivation, the fun which comes from knowing about how a word got that way, and a chatty little essay about the words he has selected. We might call to question the importance of putting contemporary physicians in a book of less than six thousand entries, particularly when the selection seems to have been based on whimsey or a lack of insight into the real contributions of some included and some excluded. But then, a book of this kind has to be selective anyhow, and no two people would choose alike. The work is

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