The term “white blood cells” was coined after discoveries were made during the seperation of a blood sample through centrifugation. In such a blood sample, the “white cells” are found in what is called the buffy coat. The buffy coat is a thin white layer of nucleated cells between the sedimented red blood cells and the blood plasma. So, the cells are named literally after their color. The scientific name for a white blood cell is leukocyte.
The name white blood cell originated from the fact that when blood is centrifuged the blood is “split” into three parts, plasma 55%, erythrocytes ~45% and the so called buffy coat which is white and contains leukocytes and platelets.
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