One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A bandage folded into a spiral arrangement resembling an ear of wheat or barley.
bandage, covering, plaster, gauze, lint, compress, ligature, swathe, poultice, salveView synonyms
- ‘As a basic rule, in a patient with a clinically suspected scaphoid fracture but negative initial radiographs, it is reasonable to apply a short arm thumb spica and re-evaluate the patient in two weeks.’
- ‘Current treatment for this type of fracture is a thumb spica, but some evidence suggests that the thumb could be omitted from the cast.’
Late 17th century: from Latin, literally ‘spike, ear of corn’; related to spina ‘spine’. The current sense is influenced by Greek stakhus ‘ear of wheat’.
The brightest star in the constellation Virgo.
Latin, literally ‘ear of wheat (in the hand of the goddess)’.
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