One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: †the external opening of the vagina (obsolete). In later use: the opening of the cervix into the vagina; the os uteri.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in William Smellie (1697–1763), man-midwife. From post-classical Latin os externum from classical Latin ōs + externum, neuter of externus outer.
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