May I request someone to suggest a good book on Scientific Latin? I am looking for a good book on Scientific Latin with emphasis on naming fauna and flora and the grammar of nomenclature. I would appreciate comments and suggestions.

1 Answer 1


Here are two that I like:

  • Oscar E. Nybakken, Greek and Latin in scientific terminology (Ames, Iowa: The Iowa State University Press)
  • William T. Stearn, Botanical Latin: history, grammar, syntax, terminology and vocabulary (New York: Hafner Publishing Company)

I relied pretty heavily on both these books when I had to teach courses on bioscientific vocabulary from Latin and Greek while I was a graduate student.

Nybakken's book covers all branches of science, and terminology that's derived from both Greek and Latin, so it's a bit broader than you've asked for; but it's a nice, general book that I found particularly good about explaining the 'syntax' of scientific words. It also includes pretty extensive lists (with examples) of roots, suffixes, and prefixes. As the title of Stearns's book suggests, it's focused on plant-specific terminology. It's quite exhaustive and even includes illustrations. I know of no comparable animal-specific book, but perhaps someone else does.

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