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Panaritium vocant latini apostema parvum acutissimum quod fit in summitatibus digitorum iuxta ungues, transumptum a greco paranichion ut Theodorus Priscianus nominat et est eius expositio iuxta unguem a para et nichia que est unguis.


Panaritium AB | -ritum C | -riciũ efjp
latini | greci f
acutissimum A fjp | accu- BC e
sũmitatibus ABC f | sumitatibus p | summitate ms. e | sũitate j
ungues | vnũ genus (genus A) AC
transumptum | transuptũ B
paranichion | para chi nichion j
{et} est add. ABC | add. eius ms. e | add. est eius f
a para (para j) ABC fj | a par p | apostema ms. e {'a para' misread as 'apˀa' a conventional abbreviation for apostema}


Panaritium {"whitlow"} is what Latin speakers call a small and very painful imposthume, which occurs at the end of fingers near the fingernails. The word is taken over from Greek paranichion, the form Theodorus Priscianus uses, and its translation is "beside the nail", from Greek para {"next to"} and nichia, which means "nail".


Simon refers to Theodorus Priscianus, Euporiston Faenomenon, 38, ed. Rose (1894: 94) De paronychiis [[1]], beginning with Paronychia ..., but in his apparatus forms like panariciis and Paranicia, Panarazia and –ricia are mentioned. Simon's copy must have had the form paranichion.

Latin panaricium, changed through metathesis from *paranicium, is a corruption of Greek παρωνυχία /parōnychía/, which consists of Greek παρ(α)- /par(a)-/ {"beside"} + ονυχ- /onykh-/ < ὄνυξ /ónyx/ {"talon; nail"} + -ία /-ia/ a noun ending. The slightly infelicitous analysis of the word into para + nichia may be due to Simon's imperfect knowledge of Greek or to that of some copyist(s).
The corrupted form is attested as early as in Ps. Apuleius (4th c. AD) where it says in 42, 3, ed. Howald (1927: 91). HERBA SCILLA: Ad paranicia. {“For whitlows”}.
Herbae scillae radix pistata cum aceto et pane, inposita panaricia mirifice sanat [[2]] – “the crushed root of the herb scilla {“sea-onion”} in vinegar and bread and laid on heals panaricia {“whitlows”} admirably.

Paronychia has survived into modern medical terminology where it stands for inflammation and swelling of the skin folds and tissues surrounding a fingernail or toenail.

WilfGunther (talk) 05/01/2014

See also Paranichia

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