NEAR THE KIDNEYS
In 1901, the pharmaceutical company Parke, Davis & Co. (now a subsidiary of Pfizer) registered the trademark Adrenalin to describe a new purified extract from the adrenal glands that was perfected by Japanese chemist Jokichi Takamine. In Europe, people added an e to that, and that's how we got the word adrenaline. Takamine coined the word from Latin ad, meaning "near", renal, meaning "kidneys" and the chemical suffix -ine, because the adrenal glands are located on top of the kidneys. We've seen the prefix ad an inordinate amount of times, and (surprise!) it still comes from a Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to", "near", or "at". Renal, meanwhile, traces to Latin ren, also "kidneys". This has an officially uncertain etymology, but could be from PIE gren, which referred to internal organs in general.
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Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic. This year, I graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Government and Linguistics. There, I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society and wrote a thesis on Serbo-Croatian language policy, magna cum laude. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.