from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The snipping off the tail of a leech engaged in sucking human blood, in order to let the blood run out of it and so increase its powers of drawing blood.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act or operation of incising a leech while sucking, so that the ingested blood may escape, and the leech continue to suck.
  • n. The application of the bdellometer.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Irregularly formed as the Ancient Greek βδέλλᾰ (bdella, "leech") + the English -tomy (from -τοµία, -tomia, “a cutting”; from τέμνω, temnō, “I cut”); the etymological spelling is bdellotomy.


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  • Oh, 'bdellotomy' is better. That's not in the OED yet, but 'bdellatomy' is irregular: in Greek compounds you always use the stem (bdell-) and the connective vowel -o- between consonants.

    August 20, 2008

  • Also listed as bdellotomy.

    August 20, 2008

  • the practice of cutting leeches to empty them of blood while they still continue to suck

    (Greek bdella "leech", tom- "cut")

    August 19, 2008