- A dictionary of medical eponyms


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French instrument for execution by decapitation, rightfully considered one of the most effective contraptions ever devised by a physician to the purpose of ending man’s misery. The decapitation is done by means of an angled blade that falls between two grooved vertical columns. The term is also applied to some surgical instruments which work on a similar principle, e.g. for excising tonsils and laryngeal growths.

"Ah, monsieur le Comte, no better nurse for an aching head than Madame la Guillotine!"

Note that the machine and the man are written differently: Guillotine and Guillotin, respectively.

For details and history, see under Joseph Ignace Guillotin, French physician and politician, 1738-1814.

What is an eponym?

An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person, whether real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

What is Whonamedit?

Whonamedit.com is a biographical dictionary of medical eponyms. It is our ambition to present a complete survey of all medical phenomena named for a person, with a biography of that person.


Whonamedit? does not give medical advice.
This survey of medical eponyms and the persons behind them is meant as a general interest site only. No information found here must under any circumstances be used for medical purposes, diagnostically, therapeutically or otherwise. If you, or anybody close to you, is affected, or believe to be affected, by any condition mentioned here: see a doctor.