One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A part of the body near or in front of the heart; (in early use) specifically †the diaphragm (obsolete); (in later use) specifically = "precordium".
Late 16th century. From classical Latin praecordia (plural) parts of the body below the heart, (in medical writings) the lower chest in front of the heart, the region over the diaphragm, the upper abdomen below the ribs, the diaphragm from prae- + cord-, cor heart + -ia, plural of -ium.
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