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Epi tube

noun; clipping
a 1.5 or 2 mL plastic tube used in scientific laboratories to perform a variety of functions, such as to store materials or to contain reactions
 
Epi tube is a clipping from Eppendorf tube. Eppendorf is a biotechnology company that develops, produces, and distributes instruments and equipments used in scientific laboratories. While Eppendorf produces many tubes of various sizes and materials, Eppendorf tube has first undergone narrowing to only to refer to the small 1.5 or 2 mL plastic tubes manufactured by Eppendorf. Then the term Eppendorf tube has undergone widening to not only to refer to the 1.5 or 2 mL plastic tubes produced by the company Eppendorf, but to all 1.5 or 2 mL plastic tubes produced by any company. Because the Eppendorf tubes are so widely used and prevalent in a scientific laboratory, it has been clipped to become Epi tubes, allowing for easier reference. Also, Epi tubes gives the sense of diminutiveness, which corresponds to the small size of the actual tubes.
Etymology : Epi tube is a clipping from Eppendorf tube. Eppendorf is the name of the biotechnology company that manufactures the tubes. Tube from Middle French tube, which comes from Latin tubus 'tube, pipe' of unknown origin.
Source : "Use the Epi tube for that reaction." (graduate student, September 2008)
Last modified: 5 December 2008


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