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JAMA 100 Years Ago
November 10, 1999


Author Affiliations

Edited by Jennifer Reiling, Editorial Assistant.

JAMA. 1999;282(18):1700L. doi:10.1001/jama.282.18.1700

CHICAGO, Nov. 4, 1899.

To the Editor:—The former usage of the Latin word sutura, and its English derivative suture, always had three meanings: 1, a seam, or the line of union made by sewing parts together; 2, the seam-like lines of junction of the cranial bones; 3—in surgical use—the thread used to make the row of stitches composing a suture.

According to the best authority the Latins did not apply the word sutura to a single stitch. For the latter they employed a phrase of two words signifying "a passage of the thread." There was also a rare word, punctio, for stitch, but it almost never appears in their literature.