Front view of the Adam's apple (laryngeal prominence)
|Precursor||4th and 6th pharyngeal arches|
The Adam's apple, or laryngeal prominence, is a feature of the human neck, and is the lump or protrusion that is formed by the angle of the thyroid cartilage surrounding the larynx seen especially in males.
The structure of the Adam's apple forms a bump under the skin. It is typically larger in adult males, in whom it is usually clearly visible and palpable. In females, the bump is much less visible and is hardly perceived on the upper edge of the thyroid cartilage.
Its development is considered a secondary sexual characteristic of males that appears as a result of hormonal activity. Its level of development varies among individuals and the widening of that area in the larynx can occur very suddenly and quickly.
The Adam's apple, in conjunction with the thyroid cartilage which forms it, helps protect the walls and the frontal part of the larynx, including the vocal cords (which are located directly behind it).
Another function of the Adam's apple is related to the deepening of the voice. During adolescence, the thyroid cartilage grows together with the larynx. Consequently, the laryngeal prominence grows in size mainly in men. Together, a larger soundboard is made up in phonation apparatus and, as a result, the man gets a deeper voice note.
Society and culture
Cosmetic surgery to reshape the Adam's apple is called chondrolaryngoplasty (thyroid cartilage reduction). The surgery is effective, such that complications tend to be few and, if present, transient.
There are two main theories as to the origin of the term "Adam's apple". The "Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable" and the 1913 edition of Webster's Dictionary point at an ancient belief that a piece of forbidden fruit was embedded in the throat of Adam, who according to the Abrahamic religions was the first man. However, neither the Bible nor other Judeo-Christian or Islamic writings mention such a story. In fact, the biblical story does not even specify the type of fruit that Adam ate.
Linguist Alexander Gode claimed that the Latin phrase to designate the laryngeal prominence was very probably translated incorrectly from the beginning. The phrase in Latin was "pomum Adami" (literally: 'Adam's apple'). This, in turn, came from the Hebrew "tappuach ha adam" meaning "apple of man". The confusion lies in the fact that in Hebrew language the proper name "Adam" (אדם) literally means "man", while the Hebrew word "apple" means "swollen", thus in combination: the swelling of a man. Proponents of this version contend that the subsequent phrases in Latin and other Romance languages represent a mistranslation from the start.
The medical term "prominentia laryngea" (laryngeal prominence) was introduced by the Basle Nomina Anatomica in 1895.
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- E. Cobham Brewer (1810–1897). Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898. "Adam's Apple"
- George Crabb (1823), "Universal technological dictionary", Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, "Pomum Ada'mi"
- William S. Haubrich (2003), "Medical Meanings: A Glossary of Word Origins", ACP Press, pág 5.
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- Morris, Evan (November 2008). "Goozle « The Word Detective". The Word Detective. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
If we follow 'goozle' back a bit further, we come to an interesting intersection with a far more common word, 'guzzle.'
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The Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English defines google (or goozle) as 'the throat, Adam's apple.'
- Roy Wilder (1 September 1998). You All Spoken Here. University of Georgia Press. p. 55. ISBN 978-0-8203-2029-8.
Adam's apple; goozle; the projection formed by the thyroid cartilage in the neck.
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gullet, windpipe, or Adam’s apple. [Varr of guzzle 1] chiefly Sth, S Midl