Word and Phrase Origins

What is the origin of the word diabetes?

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Wiki User
2012-08-18 11:49:49

Diabetes comes from the Greek word for "siphon". An Ancient

Greek physician noticed that patients with diabetes excessively

urinated, "siphoning" fluid out of their bodies. As a result, he

named the condition diabetes.

The full name is actually diabetes mellitus - mellitus is Latin

for "honey-sweet", since the patient's urine was noticeably sweet.

There is an unrelated condition, diabetes insipidus, that causes

excessive urine as well -- but that urine is very dilute and has no


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