Facets of a Diamond - Blog

“On the Etymology of Fetus”


Photograph by John Diamond, M.D.


Our word fetus, relating to the baby within from the time of quickening, its mother’s Awareness of the Spirit within her, is derived from the root DHEL which, surprisingly, meant “to suck.”

But of course it is not the fetus who sucks at the breast.

Perhaps it is because the mother imagines her fetus gratefully, lovingly, “sucking” her blood as life that so freely, so lovingly, is ever-flowing from her into him.

And from DHEL is also derived felix, happy.

And the thought of his sucking makes her happier than we men will ever know.


Mothers & Mothering,