Hi Colchicine, Long time, no talk! Herpetology is from greek origins. As you know, the -ology suffix means "the study of". Herpetos is greek for roughly "those which creep or crawl". Since most people think reptiles are creepy, this name got applied to them and later the amphibians were lumped in. Why it was chosen I don't know. Ornithology (Birds) gets its root from a man who was having an affair with Audbon's wife, so there is no real rhyme or reason to it.