Etymology: myringa

123xyz

Senior Member
Macedonian
Hello,

Could someone tell me the etymology of "myringa" (allegedly meaning "eardrum") or the root "myring-" which occurs in words like "myringotomy" (excision of the eardrum)? The "y" suggests Greek origin, but I can't find it in Beekes' Etymological Dictionary of Greek. Looking in de Vaan's Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the Italic Languages, Wiktionary, and the Online Etymology Dictionary didn't get me anywhere either. I would like to know what the original meaning was, what the component morphemes are, what the PIE reconstruction is (if it's not a non-IE loanword), etc.

Thank you in advance
 
  • Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Hello,

    Could someone tell me the etymology of "myringa" (allegedly meaning "eardrum") or the root "myring-" which occurs in words like "myringotomy" (excision of the eardrum)? The "y" suggests Greek origin, but I can't find it in Beekes' Etymological Dictionary of Greek. Looking in de Vaan's Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the Italic Languages, Wiktionary, and the Online Etymology Dictionary didn't get me anywhere either. I would like to know what the original meaning was, what the component morphemes are, what the PIE reconstruction is (if it's not a non-IE loanword), etc.

    Thank you in advance
    The word myringa is Latin (according to Wikipedia), not Greek. I agree that "y" suggests Greek origin, and it probably is the fact, but the Greek word must have fallen into obscurity.
     
    Last edited:

    jazyk

    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    This is what I found out in a Czech medical dictionary:

    myrinx
    lat. ušní bubínek [snad zkomolením z řec. meninx, meningos blána, pův. označovalo pleny mozkové i bubínek; myrinx nebo myringa se objevilo až ve středověké latině]
    myrinx | Velký lékařský slovník On-Line

    Latin eardrum [possibly a corruption of Greek meninx, meningos, membrane, originally it referred to the meninges as well as the eardrum; myrinx or myringa didn't turn up until Medieval Latin]
     

    Circunflejo

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Castilla
    myrinx or myringa didn't turn up until Medieval Latin
    Talking about the etymology of hydromyringa, John Graig says in A new universal, etymological and pronouncing dictionary of the English language (London, James Gilbert, 1847) that myringa is a barbarous Latin name of the membrana tympani what I think that would agree with your statement.

    Just in case that it could be any useful, Thomas Young says in the page 27 of An introduction to medical literature, including a system of practical nosology (London, W. Phillips, George Yard, Lombard Street, 1823) that the term myringa was
    arbitrarily given by Sennert to the membrane of the tympanum
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    Greek
    In "myrinx"/"myringa I can recognize the Greek suffix "-ιγξ", which is also present in μῆν-ιγξ, σῦρ-ιγξ, σάλπ-ιγξ, φόρμ-ιγξ (in accusative: μήνιγγα, σύριγγα, σάλπιγγα, φόρμιγγα).

    Latin eardrum [possibly a corruption of Greek meninx, meningos, membrane, originally it referred to the meninges as well as the eardrum; myrinx or myringa didn't turn up until Medieval Latin]
    Yes, that must be the case.
     

    sotos

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Probably. In vulgar modern Greek the meninx is corrupted to "milingi" (N>L>R or N>R>L).
     

    Vukabular

    Senior Member
    Serbian
    Talking about the etymology of hydromyringa, John Graig says in A new universal, etymological and pronouncing dictionary of the English language (London, James Gilbert, 1847) that myringa is a barbarous Latin name of the membrana tympani what I think that would agree with your statement.
    In Serbian:
    myringa = 'bubna opna' literally the membrane of the drum
     
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