Answers to Body Word quiz

1 torso is not a scientific term, but originally referred to statues from classical ancient Greece and Rome. It was borrowed in the 18th century from Italian to denote a sculpture of a human trunk. Its origin is in the Latin word thyrsus, the staff carried by Bacchus in ancient sculpture, which comes from Greek thursos, meaning stalk.

2 chest is from Old English cest, cist, box, from Latin cista, wooden box or basket, from Greek kiste, box. In modern German Kiste still means box.

3 muscle is a relatively new word. It did not come into English until the 16th century. Its origin is in the Latin word musculus, meaning little mouse. This was because of the surface appearance of some of the muscles and their movements beneath the skin, wriggling and moving. People thought they looked like little mice. The earlier word for muscles was thews.

4 pupil is from 16th century Latin pupilla, a very small reflection of a person or puppet in the eye The pupil acts like a tiny mirror in which you can see reflections. A person's face reflected in the pupil looks very small. The old word for puppet was pupa. Pupilla meant a very small puppet. Modern German has Pupille.

5 skull came into English during the 13th century. Before that, there were some interesting names for this part of the body: brain-panne, brain-pan; heaved-panne, head-pan; heren-panne, brain-pan; hfd-ban, head-bone. Panne, in its original domestic usage, was a broad, flat-based metal vessel.

6 longe-woo meant "lung-woe", in other words, lung disease, an affliction in you chest.

7 neose-thurl meant "nose opening". You have two of them, your nostrils. The logo at the top of the page shows how the word looked in Old English letters.

8 thorax comes from a Greek word meaning "breastplate".

9 skonk means "leg". It is related to the Old English words scanca, sceona and sconca, all of which meant leg. To travel by "Shanks's pony" is a play on words meaning to use your legs.

10 banhus means "bone house". It is an Old English word for body.

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