The dearth of standard anatomical terminologies in Yorùbá language: Butchers’ terminologies to the rescue?
The need to replace foreign-language medical terms with indigenous terms has prompted researchers to search for indigenous equivalents of the foreign medical terms. This study which focused on the dearth of standard anatomical terminologies in Yorùbá language was an attempt to examine the adoptability of butchers’ terminologies as descriptive anatomical terms for human abdomino-thoracic organs. Practising butchers in the South West Nigeria were interviewed on their terminologies for cow’s abdomino-thoracic organs and the basis for each terminology. The butchers’ terminologies, in Yorùbá language were critically appraised for adoptability as anatomical terms for human abdomino-thoracic organs. The study observed that cow’s abdomino-thoracic organs were grossly similar to those of humans. Majority (65%) of the cow’s abdomino-thoracic organs are named by the butchers’ in traditional Yorùbá terminologies. The butchers’ terminologies were etymologically derived based on pre-existing concepts similar to the modern terminologies derived from the ancient Greek and Latin words. About 25% of the butchers’ terminologies were the same with some human anatomical terminologies which were in use by the health care professionals. The terminologies concur with the cultural attitudes of the Yorùbá with reference to the private parts of the human body and majority (80%) of the butchers’ terminologies is simple and familiar to the people. Given these characteristic features, we concluded that the butchers’ terminologies are strongly adoptable as descriptive anatomical terms for human abdomino-thoracic organs and may resolve the dearth of standard anatomical terminologies in Yorùbá language. The findings may form a baseline for future studies on the translation of anatomical terminologies to Yorùbá language.
Key words: Anatomical terms; Butchers terms; Abdomino-thoracic organs; Yorùbá language.