Cool Vocabulary You Totally Don't Need
07 Jun 2008
Had lunch with a former co-worker yesterday. I hadn’t seen her since my wedding. She told me she had recently had surgery to have a 畸胎瘤 removed. What is that? Well, 畸 means “deformity,” 胎 means “fetus,” and 瘤 means “tumor” (or similar growth). As far as I can tell, this is called “fetus in fetu” in English.
What happened to my friend is that when she was originally in the womb, she had a twin, but her twin did not develop normally. Her body enveloped her twin’s, which stayed tiny, and was not even noticeable. It lived on inside her as a parasitic twin, without a brain. Over the years, it remained in her abdomen and very slowly grew larger until it was the size of an apple. It was causing discomfort, was discovered, and was finally removed.
Crazy vocabulary acquisition!
P.S. Don’t Baidu/Google image search the words above unless you want nightmares!
UPDATE: 畸胎瘤 is actually teratoma in English (thanks, Henning!). What my friend described to me was fetus in fetu, though, so something doesn’t add up.