Intended for healthcare professionals


When I use a word…: Fingerprints

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 11 October 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:i
  1. Jeff Aronson, clinical pharmacologist
  1. Oxford

    Fond though doctors are of using long words of Greek and Latin origins, in some cases we use ordinary English words. We say hiccup (not singultus), yawn (not pandiculation), and fingerprints (not dermatoglyphics).

    The recent discovery that koala bears have fingerprints that more closely resemble those of humans than chimpanzees' fingerprints do is said to support the hypothesis that fingerprints evolved as an aid to climbing. Whether or not that is so, fingerprints have been …

    View Full Text

    Log in

    Log in through your institution


    * For online subscription