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Affixes: the building blocks of English
Affixes: the building blocks of English

splen(o)-

The spleen.

[Greek splēn, spleen.]

A splenectomy (Greek ektomē, excision) is a surgical operation to remove the spleen; splenitis is inflammation of it; splenomegaly (Greek megas, megal-, great) is abnormal enlargement of it. The adjective is splenic. A person may be splenetic, bad-tempered or spiteful, a term which derives from the belief once held that such behaviour was caused by a diseased spleen.

The splenius, any of two pairs of muscles attached to the vertebrae in the neck and upper back which draw back the head, derives its name instead from Greek splēnion, a bandage, because of the way it appears to wrap around the back of the head. Words such as splendid and splendour come instead from Latin splendere, to shine, be bright.

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