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Question: Where does the word 'brain' come from?

Asked by gandalfthegrey to Fiona, Joanna, William on 24 Jun 2010 in Categories: .

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  • Photo: William DaviesWilliam Davies answered on 24 Jun 2010:

    It comes from the Old English word braegen, which I guess means something like ‘ the stuff inside your head’

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  • Photo: Joanna BrooksJoanna Brooks answered on 24 Jun 2010:

    Hello! Another intricate question! The word ‘brain’ comes from Old English Language (Anglo-Saxon so probably before 1066 and the Battle of Hastings) and was probably derived from a variation of a word used to describe the inside of the head – this word was probably something like ‘bragen’. I think the word ‘brain’ was first used around the year 1800.

    BTW did you do the quiz to find out what sex your brain is?
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sex/add_user.shtml

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  • Photo: Fiona RandallFiona Randall answered on 24 Jun 2010:

    I’ll be honest-had to look this up. ‘The New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998) defines brain as “an organ of soft nervous tissue contained in the skull of vertebrates, functioning as the coordinating centre of sensation and intellectual and nervous activity”. As early as 500 BC Alkmaion of Kroton, based on anatomical evidence, proposed that the brain was essential for perception, (Doty, 2007).” I took this from http://www.kopfinstruments.com/Carrier/downloads/Carrier65.pdf

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