Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Vocabulary: Pillars of the fauces

I just came across this term in a book I'm reading, and, being the generous sort, I thought I'd share it with you.
Fauces, n.pl. [L.]

1. (Anat.) The narrow passage from the mouth to the pharynx, situated between the soft palate and the base of the tongue; -- called also the isthmus of the fauces. On either side of the passage two membranous folds, called the pillars of the fauces, inclose the tonsils.

So the pillars of the fauces are the uprights on either side of the entrance to the throat.

Now you know.


Soccer Dad said...

This of course reminds me of an old "Far Side" cartoon. I think the caption is something like "The bonus question on the medical boards." The question on the test you can see in the cartoon is (something like) "What is the thing that hangs down in the back of your mouth?"

Zman Biur said...

I should note that this is apparently an outdated usage. The book I'm reading is 100 years old.