Spitting images: our medical philologist, Jeff Aronson, commentsBMJ 2010; 340 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b5064 (Published 25 January 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:b5064
- Jeffrey K Aronson, University of Oxford, Oxford
The Greek word πτύειν (ptuein) meant to spit and πτύαλον (ptualon) saliva. These words came from the same onomatopoeic Indo-European root that gives us spew and puke; spit, spittle, and sputum; spout, sputter, and splutter; spittoon and cuspidor. A ptyalogogue is a substance that induces the flow of saliva, ptyalin …
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