History and etymology (article structure)

Last revised by Joachim Feger on 24 Mar 2024

History and etymology is one of the main headings in many articles e.g.:

In many articles the "History and etymology" main heading is located towards the end of the article, e.g. in the standard article its location is after "Treatment and prognosis" and before "Differential diagnosis".

This section contains information about:

  • etymology and information about why something is named what it is 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 the 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 this 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, the 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 Referencing these details is also important; please do not cite the website "whonamedit.com" (or a similar online resource) as material on these websites is often unreferenced.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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