Now that Super Bowl LII has ended with an Eagles win, some are wondering if forty-year-old Patriots quarterback Tom Brady might finally slow down and step away from football — or at least from active play. Considering his name, such a slow-down would be etymologically apt: brady- is a combining form from the Greek bradys, meaning “slow” or “delayed.”
Though most of us don’t see brady- words in our everyday work, they show up often enough in science and medicine.
Colloquially, a seismic shift indicates a strong or widespread change, but in actual geology, not all seismic movement results in such upheaval. A bradyseism is a slow and quiet up or down movement of the Earth’s crust.
In the animal kingdom, animals of the family Bradypodidae and genus Bradypus are known for their slowness. You know them better as three-toed sloths. (The two-toed sloth, however, belongs to the family Megalonychidae.) And yes, Bradypus means “slow foot.”
Both plants and animals might undergo bradytely, halted or slowed evolution compared to what is expected of a given group.
Other brady- words are primarily medical terms denoting dysfunctions, disorders, and abnormalities:
- Bradyacusia: Diminished hearing
- Bradyarthria, bradylalia, bradylogia, bradyphasia, bradyphemia: All five of these words indicate abnormally slow speech; the different words indicate different causes of the dysfunction
- Bradyauxesis: Slower growth and development of one part of the body in relation to the rest of the body.
- Bradycardia: Slow heart action (also called brachycardia, from brachy- “short”)
- Bradyesthesia: Slow rate of sensory impression
- Bradyglossia: Slow or difficult tongue movement
- Bradykinesia: Abnormal slowness in movement, an effect of Parkinson’s disease
- Bradylexia: Slowness in reading
- Bradypepsia: Slow digestion
- Bradyphagia: Slowness in eating
- Bradyphrenia: A slowness in mental processing, often seen with Parkinson’s disease, that is caused by a lowered ability to shift quickly from one conceptual pattern to another.
- Bradypnea: Abnormal slowness of respiration
- Bradysphygmia: Slow pulse
- Bradystalsis: Slow bowel motion
- Bradyuria: Slow urination