Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why is the testis called the testis?

I have a pet peeve.  Over the years, I've heard many people call or spell the testis a "testi" or "teste", perhaps from seeing testis or testes and removing the "s" thinking that it's plural.  Since it's a latin word, the singular form is testis and the plural is testes.

So where does testis come from?  Well, there is a commonality between the male gonad and a court of law.  No, this is not a lawyer joke.  Let me explain...When you are a witness in court you testify and in a man's scrotum are testicles or testes.

They share the same root word, testis, which means a witness.

Some related words from Wiktionary are:

How does this word relate to a the male anatomy?  This root word was applied to the male gonad because it is a "witnesses for a man's virility".

It's funny how I've been involved in urology for many years and didn't know all these details about the word until now!

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