History and etymology (article structure)

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 30 May 2022

History and etymology is one of the main subheadings in a standard article

The "History and etymology" subheading is located after "Treatment and prognosis" and before "Differential diagnosis".

This section contains information about:

  • etymology and information about why something is named what it's named
  • information about an eponym and the person after whom something is named; this person's name should be capitalized and in bold, one of a very few cases when the use of bold text is encouraged on Radiopaedia.org (one of the others being the article's topic in the introduction)
  • general historical information, e.g. who described something first or other historical points
  • historical synonyms: some topics have a large number of historical synonyms which are no longer used other than in purely historical contexts; it is often best to put these in the history and etymology section (see metal fume fever as a good example). In these cases it is also helpful to include the alternative names in the Synonyms section.

True etymological discussion usually occurs when the origin of the word is from Ancient Greek or Latin roots. Where something is named after somebody i.e. an eponym, discussion will include who they are, when they lived and most likely include what they did as a profession. Referencing these details is also important; please do not cite the website "whonamedit.com" (or similar online resource) as material on these websites is often unreferenced.  

It is helpful to add the tag "eponym" if the discussion is about an eponym.

Haley Style (1921-1988) 1 was an Austrian anatomist who was pre-eminent in the discovery of this rare syndrome.

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