Last year I spent a lot of time working with a wonderful hand surgeon, and want to make sure that my hand surgery vocabulary is up to snuff in case I end up with him again. Last year Zipf’s Law pulled its usual crap on me—like, when you go to see a hand surgeon, the first question he asks is, “are you right-handed or left-handed?”, and I knew how to say “left-handed”–zurdo, which everyone learns in school because it’s easy to confuse with sordo, “mute”–but, I had no clue how to say “right-handed.” (Turns out it’s diestro.) For today, I’m starting with a web page that gives a general description of hand surgery. Zipf’s Law raises its ugly head in the very first sentence, of course.
- amplia: adjective with a range of meanings including wide, spacious, loose.
- gama: range, spectrum. Having looked up these two words, I can finally understand THE FIRST SENTENCE of the web page defining what plastic surgery is: Cirugía de la mano es un término general que incorpora una amplia gama de diferentes tipos de cirugía de la mano.
- colgajo: flap, as in colgajo de piel, “skin flap.”
- suministro: supply, as in suministro de sangre, “blood supply.”
- ubicación: location, whereabouts, position.