What Is The Name For The Windpipe?
When we talk about what’s inside our bodies, we usually refer to organs and their functions. But there are some other important things in your body too – like the windpipe. It may seem simple enough at first glance but it has an interesting name that can be a little confusing when you think about it for long. What is the name for this part of your respiratory system? That question might be easier to answer if you had to go looking for it on a diagram of the human body!
In order to understand what the name means, let’s take apart the word “trachea” and see where each syllable lands in relation to the others. In this case, we’re going to use the scientific version of the alphabet so we’ll start with A.
A stands for anterior or front. You probably already know that you have two ears attached to your head. One ear is on top and one is on the bottom. And as you move forward toward the back of your skull, your ears get smaller because they become more distant from your face. This is also true for your eyes which sit closer together as you look up or down. Your windpipe fits into this pattern as well. It starts out wide near the front of your throat and then narrows down as it moves towards your chest. Of course, the exact shape depends upon how tall you are. If you were shorter than average, you’d have a narrower windpipe than most people do.
Moving along to B, we find that bony structures tend to grow larger than cartilage ones. So you could say that your windpipe is made mostly of bone rather than cartilage. This explains why it feels hard and firm under your tongue. Next, we come across C which stands for cervical. This refers to the area above your neck. Finally, we reach D which is for deltoid. This muscle covers the shoulder and elbow areas. When we put all these parts together, we end up with trachea.
Now that we’ve got the general idea, let’s break down the word even further by taking a closer look at each syllable. As we did before, we’ll begin with E which represents expiratory. Expiration is the process by which gas leaves the lungs during respiration. Once again, we have a term that describes something physical and functional. Moving onto F, we discover that fissures are cracks or breaks in the skin. They can occur anywhere. Now we come to G. This letter stands for glottis. Glottis is the opening through which speech occurs. We then cross over to H and arrive at hyphenated terms. These include hyoid-epiglottic, epiglottis-hyoid, and palatoglossus-palatopharyngoesophageal. We’ll skip I since its location is obvious and instead go straight to J. Here we encounter the term linguo-facial sulcus which is used to describe the groove between the facial muscles and the mandible (lower jawbone) on either side. Finally, we make it to K and arrive at kyphotic. Kyphosis is a hump that forms below the upper thoracic vertebrae.
We now have a good understanding of where the name comes from. However, we haven’t explained the whole meaning of trachea yet. To figure out what it means, we must examine the rest of the letters. L is for larynx. Like the vocal cords, this organ controls the flow of air through the windpipe. M stands for membranous. Membranes are thin layers of tissue that surround certain organs. Laryngeal membranes are found around the voice box. N is next and it indicates the presence of nerves. Trachea contains several sets of nerves that serve to control breathing. O represents oesophagus. An oesophagus is an anatomical structure that connects the stomach to the mouth via the gullet. P is for pharynx. Pharynxes are often referred to as the “food pipe.” S is for styliform ligament. This is a fibrous band that connects both sides of the soft palate to the base of the uvula. U is for uvula. Uvulas are small fleshy folds that form at the roof of the mouth. V is for velum. Velums are flaps of mucosa that separate the nasal cavity from the oral cavity. X is for xiphoid process. This is a bony hook that projects downward from the lower border of the sternum. Y is for thyroid cartilage. Thyroid cartilage gives support to the entire windpipe. Z is for zygomatic arch. This is the curved piece of bone that extends downward from the forehead and cheekbones.
With all these different names and locations, it can be difficult to keep track of them. Fortunately, there are many diagrams available online that help explain exactly where each part of the windpipe is located.
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