Over ninety percent of medical terms are created from both Greek and Latin word parts. Memorizing the little over a thousand medical word parts used as building blocks would be a formidable and pretty boring task using rote memorization alone. Using association between words we already know and memory techniques however can make this task go faster, more efficiently, and sometimes we even have some fun with the word part meanings here at Struggling Student's Memory Guide.
blue emboldened words are common or college terms we already know that our memory can associate to medical terms we don't know.
reddish brown emboldened words are medical terms that should be looked up in a medical dictionary for their figurative meanings.
Medical word parts and memory story from High Speed Memory Techniques for Medical Terminology.
-all-, -allo- from Gr. allos, other, means "other, another, different". [alias, L. allius, other fig. an assumed name, alien, L. alienus, another, fig. foreign, strange, not natural, allegory, lit. different in the agora or marketplace, orig. to speak in metaphor in a Greek or Roman marketplace to avoid eavesdroppers and spies, now, a story using characters symbolic of something else; an extended metaphor, allesthesia, lit. other sensation condition, alloarthroplasty, lit. different (material) joint surgical formation, allomorphism, lit. different form state, alloploid, lit. different fold resemblance]
-allel-, -allelo- from Gr. allelon, means "a relationship to one another, reciprocally, mutually". [parallel, lit. alongside of one another relationship, allele, lit. reciprocally, allelomorph, lit. reciprocally shaped or formed, allelocatalysis, lit. reciprocally capable of dissolving completely, allelotaxis, lit. reciprocally arranging, pseudoallelism, lit. false relationship to one another condition]
allotrio- from Gr. allotrios, means "strange, foreign". [allotriodontia, lit. strange (place) tooth condition, allotriogeustia, lit. foreign taste condition, allotriophagy, lit. foreign (things) eating condition, allotriosmia, lit. foreign smelling condition]
Memory Story: (for -all-, -allo-) You make telemarketers believe you're a foreigner and can't speak English by answering the phone "allo" (-allo-) loudly and then repeating it every time they ask a question.
Memory Story: (for -allel-) Warning: (Violent) You're a Hatfield and your betrothed is a McCoy. You're standing at the front of your families who are all standing in two lines parallel (allel-, related) to one another as you exchange the recipe (reciprocally) of your family's famous moonshine for their famous opossum stew; a condition of the marriage. Something is said, all hell (-allel-) breaks loose, and you've been mutually and reciprocally killing each other ever since. (It's time to elope.)
Memory Story: (for allotrio-) You're Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas and fall down a hollow tree (allotrio-) to a strange and foreign place called Christmas town.