Intended for healthcare professionals



BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 08 July 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:98
  1. Grant Hutchison

    Byzantine connections

    Faecolith and coprolite are a fine Latin and Greek pairing. Faecoliths, of course, are those nasty, stony faecal concretions which are sometimes accused of causing appendicitis. Coprolites, the Greek equivalent, are another kind of faecal stones: the fossilised faeces of long dead animals, from which much can be learnt about the ecology of bygone ages. Both the -lith and -lite endings derive from Greek lithos, a stone, so that faecolith is one of the Latin and Greek hybrids to which Henry Fowler referred when he said, “…to create them is a grave misdemeanour.”

    Faeces, of which the useful singular is faex, is …

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