Henry Vandyke Carter - Henry Gray (1918) Anatomy of the Human Body - Bartleby.com: Gray's Anatomy, Plate 389

What's in a name:

Erector Spinae:

  • Erector - erect (adj.) late 14c., "upright, not bending," from Latin erectus "upright, elevated, lofty; eager, alert, aroused; resolute; arrogant," past participle of erigere "raise or set up," from e- "up, out of" + regere "to direct, keep straight, guide".. (Etymology Online)
  • Spinae - spine (n.) c.1400, "backbone," later "thornlike part" (early 15c.), from Old French espine "thorn, prickle; backbone, spine" (12c., Modern French épine), from Latin spina "backbone," originally "thorn, prickle" (figuratively, in plural, "difficulties, perplexities"), from PIE*spe-ina-, from root *spei- "sharp point" (see spike (n.1)). Meaning "the back of a book" is first attested 1922. (Etymology Online)
    • To "raise" or "set up" the backbone.


  • Ilio - ilium (n.) pelvic bone, 1706, Modern Latin, from Latin ilia (plural) "groin, flank, side of the body from the hips to the groin" (see ileum). In Middle English it meant "lower part of the small intestine." Vesalius gave the name os ilium to the "bone of the flank." (Etymology Online)
  • Costalis - costal (adj.) "pertaining to the ribs," 1630s, from French costal (16c.), from Medieval Latin costalis, from costa "a rib" (see coast (n.)).
    • From "flank bone" to "ribs"


  • Long - long (adj.) "that extends considerably from end to end," Old English lang "long," from Proto-Germanic *langgaz (cognates: Old Frisian and Old Saxon lang, Old High German and German lang, Old Norse langr, Middle Dutch lanc, Dutch lang, Gothic laggs "long"). (