Endocrinology is the field of science concerned with studying hormones and the endocrine system. Once we eliminate the -ology suffix, we're actually left with a word that literally means "secreting internally"! This is because, when the word was coined in 1914, it was composed of the prefix endo-, meaning "inside", and the Ancient Greek word krinein, which meant "separate". The hidden definition of endocrine implies the quality of glands to secrete hormones internally. Endo- comes from Ancient Greek endon, meaning "internal", and, through Proto-Hellenic, this derives from the Proto-Indo-European hendom, "in". Meanwhile, the root krinein also may be traced through Proto-Hellenic to Proto-Indo-European, in this case to the reconstruction krey, meaning "to sift". Usage of the word endocrinology steadily increased until a peak in the early 1980s, however it has recently decreased dramatically, perhaps due to fewer advances in the field nowadays.
Adam Aleksic is a 220-month-old, 2800-ounce high school senior with disturbing interests in etymology, vexillology, geography, board games, limericks, and law. Adam will be studying linguistics at Harvard College in the fall.
The Etymology Nerd