The term ovarian suspensory ligament appears ambiguous when human adult anatomy textbooks are compared with human embryology or with general mammalian anatomy textbooks. The term ovarian suspensory ligament in laboratory rodents and domestic animals indicates homologous structures during foetal (the cranial mesonephric and gonadal ligaments) and later life (the cranial mesonephric ligament derivatives). In human foetal anatomy textbooks ovarian suspensory ligament is generally applied to this same ligament. However, in human adult anatomy textbooks ovarian suspensory ligament is widely applied to the part of the (uterine) broad ligament which contains the uterine and ovarian blood and lymphatic vessels and nerves. This inconsistency in human anatomy books raises confusion on the nature of the foetal and adult ovarian suspensory ligaments and inconsistencies in the description of the normal anatomical relationships of the ovaries between humans and other mammals. For the proper understanding of normal gonadal growth and development within the abdomen, it is important to maintain a consistent nomenclature of the cranial ovarian structures. The current practice in veterinary and other mammalian textbooks offers a solid point of departure. © 1993 Wiley-Liss, Inc.