One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A carpal bone situated on the lower outside edge of the hand. It has a hook-shaped projection on the palmar side to which muscles of the little finger are attached.
- ‘The distal row of carpals includes the hamate, capitate, trapezium, and trapezoid, which are closely approximated to the metacarpals.’
- ‘Calori found a small muscle passing from the hamate to the pisiform bone.’
- ‘It lies to the radial side of the pisiform bone and the ulnar side of the hook of the hamate (the bones forming a protective canal for the artery), which is covered by the palmer carpal ligament.’
- ‘The motor component of the ulnar nerve, known as the deep motor branch of the ulnar nerve, courses around the hook of the hamate to innervate the other intrinsic muscles of the hand.’
- ‘In addition, some fibers join the trapezium and trapezoid with the scaphoid, others pass between the hamate and triquetral bones, and, finally, a separate band of the same ligament is joined to the pisiform bone.’
Early 18th century: from Latin hamatus ‘hooked’, from hamus ‘hook’.
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