Virtual Libraries

Classics ~ Latin & Greek Languages and
This is the “Virtual Libraries” page of the “Classics ~ Latin & Greek Theoi Classical E-texts Library. A collection of Greek and Roman works in English…

Medicine’s Classical vocabulary

As if we didn’t know, large numbers of medical terms are derived from Latin or (even more of them) from Greek. The exact statistics (in 1980 anyway) come in this message which the author entitles “Dead Languages Indeed”. I add the Classically-based words up to give over 92%.
The message says: “[T]he great bulk of current biomedical vocabulary is derived from classical Greek or Latin. Indeed, much of the latter is derived from the former. A survey of nearly 50,000 biomedical terms (Butler RF. Sources of the medical vocabulary. J Med Educ. 1980; 55:128) reveals that 58.5% come from Greek alone, 21.8% from Latin alone, and 13.2% combine Greek and Latin roots (only 2.9% originated in English).”

-from the Introduction to Haubrich, Medical Meanings: A Glossary of Word Origins (Second Edition), p. x.