Can’t … stop … gamba-ing

After I read JMike’s gambit comment here, I started poking around some more about the etymology of the word gambero. Gambero is the Italian word for prawn or shrimp, and gamba is the word for leg. I was convinced that it must derive from “that little feller with all them wiggly legs.” My web research turned up an Italian dictionary with an etymological entry that seemed to confirm my guess (my Italian, she is a no so good), but along the way I also found this dandy site on the etymology of anatomical words that mixes in famous paintings for good measure: Medical Etymology. It seems to be maintained by the clever and obsessive W. Wertelecki, M.D. His pages are long entertaining riffs on related words and how they fit together. On the subject of thighs, he points out the connection between gamba (Italian), jambon (French), jamon (Spanish), and ham (you know). Mmm, ham.