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Transversus nuchae

Other Terms: Transversus nuchae, Transversus nuchae set, Musculus transversus nuchae, Muscle transverse de la nuque

Muscle parts


Latin name

Musculus transversus nuchae

Latin muscle parts



Branchial arch muscle – second arch (Back muscle)


In English, this muscle’s name is the crosswise muscle of the nape of the neck. The Latin term transversus means “crosswise” and comes from Latin trans meaning “across, beyond, or through” and the Latin verb vertere meaning “to turn.” The term nuchae is from the Arabic nukha meaning “back or nape of the neck.” The term originally meant spinal cord or marrow, but the texts of Greek were translated into the Arabic, not from the original Greek but from the Syriac, and hence many Arabic terms were substituted for the Greek. Later in the 9th century the Arabic texts were retranslated into the Latin and the word “nukha” survived the translators. However, its meaning became altered and instead of designating the spinal cord, it came to mean the nape of the neck.


Posterior aspect of occipital bone.


Posterior surface of auricle or mastoid process of temporal bone.


Assists the posterior auricular muscle in drawing the auricle backward.

Nerve supply

Facial nerve (Cranial nerve VII)

Blood supply

Occipital branches of the occipital artery from the external carotid artery.


Musculus transversus nuchae


Muscle transverse de la nuque


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